Web PM

ID card proposed for teen chatrooms

Tony Dennis / The Inquirer | August 4 2006

A SCOTTISH company, NETIDme, has solved the problem of age verification in teen chat rooms with an electronic card called the NET-ID.
Youngsters who adopt the cards can earn points towards free downloads- such as ringtones.

The scheme costs £9.99 - or $18.99 in the USA - per year to join. In order to obtain the cards, youngsters must jump through a load of hoops including getting their application form signed by a recognised professional.

That's a teacher or a lawyer, not the local hooker.

The company's founder, Alex Hewitt, told the Sydney Morning Herald that he'd developed the system after becoming concerned about his own daughter's use of instant messaging.

Of the 150 people on her buddy list, she only new the age and identity of fewer than a third, Hewitt said.

The system is being marketed in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia. The cards ca be used in conjunction with chat protection software, ChatShield, which – surprise, surprise – is also created by NETIDme.

Hewitt is obviously hoping that one of the major chat portals – such as MSN Messenger – will decide to adopt the cards for its teen chatroom. In which case NETIDme is made.

More at the Sydney Morning Herald

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