Asked about the initiative at an HP data centre opening in Western Sydney today Senator Conroy, the minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, said that what was most important with any use of social networking was to ensure the right privacy settings were in place.
He however speculated about why Facebook might be looking to dramatically grow its user community at this time; “Facebook is in the position where its IPO did not go as well as it hoped, and General Motors has been pulling its advertisements,” said Senator Conroy.
“I think you have got to be cautious of a company that has gone public,” and then wanted to mine more information from its user community he said.
“I look forward to the debate over whether my five and a half year old daughter should be allowed on Facebook,” said the minister, adding later that as a parent he would be uncomfortable with that notion.
“Parents should be involved in this. We will be joining the discussion and would like to consult here,” said Senator Conroy.
He said it was important to make sure that “Companies aren’t driven by profit to mine information from minors,” adding that in his opinion children aged 13 and younger were “not in the best place to protect their interests.”