MySpace Gets Sued On Heels Of New Security Effort - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

MySpace Gets Sued On Heels Of New Security Effort

Social network says it's developing software to keep 14- and 15-year-olds safer.

MySpace chief security officer Hemanshu Nigam -- Photo by David Strick

Nigam balances protection and privacy.

Photo by David Strick
Four families sued MySpace last week, claiming the online social network didn't do enough to prevent adults from contacting and later sexually assaulting their 14- and 15-year-old daughters. The suits were filed one day after MySpace said it's developing software aimed at ensuring that profiles for 14- and 15-year-olds are placed in a separate area where older people can't contact them. The lawsuits accuse MySpace and parent company News Corp. of negligence, recklessness, and fraud. The plaintiff's lawyer last year filed a similar suit, which is pending.

MySpace chief security officer Hemanshu Nigam says the site is trying to walk a fine line between giving parents more control and protecting members' privacy. The tools it's developing would tell parents what age their children use in profiles, and teens would be told when logging in that their parents have access to their profile information. Meanwhile, 33 state attorneys general are considering legal action if MySpace doesn't increase its age limit to 16 and find a way to verify ages. MySpace says such technology doesn't exist.

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