I don't intend to debate the censorship laws or drinking ages, but it is absolutely neccesary to enable children to prove they are childen, and young adults to prove they are of age. Enter the mobile phone - why don't we use it to let the kids prove they
are kids on their chat sites? It might go some way to keeping the perverts out. There is no absolute guarantee, because an adult could always commandeer a child's phone to masquerade, but there are ways to to detect that with a little help from some google-types.
We could minimise the amount of personal information required to sign up to social networking sites and even do a bit of prevention when it comes to kids publishing their personal data.
When they sign up they would be required to authenticate and verify their age. The site need never know their name if we use a sensible system.
Another great place to use the mobile is to prove you are old enough to buy and drink acohol. I don't know about you but I like my children to carry their mobile when they go out. I don't want them having to give any of their personal details to anyone,
let alone a 'bouncer' at a club or hotel. I'd prefer they didn't have to carry any documentation they could lose.
I don't want them identifying themselves to any strangers. I do want to empower any establishment which requires to know that their patrons are of legal or suitable age.ie. at an under 18's disco, they'll be in the presence of under 18's and if they're entering
a hotel, they're of legal age.
Mobile phones are an ideal tool for this. Using their mobile to 'authenticate' their age without giving away either their mobile number or their identity is the best solution for kids. It can also give the authorities a record of who is in the establishment
if there is an incident or emergency. A trusted third party would know their age, and through the trusted third party the establishment could verify they were entitled to be there. No other information would be provided, a simple yes or no as to whether they
meet entry criteria.
Simple. Safe and easy, plus very useful for those times when something can go wrong.
Remember it's exactly the same process on the internet to help keep perverts out of kid's chat rooms, and stop account hijacking, as it is to prove age.
That's what mobilisation is about for children in my 21st century, what about yours?
p.s In case anyone is wondering there's a land line backup procedure for internet protection if the child doesn't have a mobile.