Is sacrificing your child’s privacy worth a company’s profit?

Just another glitch in protecting children online occurred today in the news. Apparently Xanga’s great blogging system that millions use to connect with others around the world just got it into trouble when it was released that they settled out of court on charges that Xanga “allegedly collected, used and disclosed personal information collected from children under age 13.”

I think this is rather disgraceful for a company to sacrifice the integrity of their company and of innocent children by exploiting this information. It definitely does not help to reduce the stereotype of corporate America where money comes first and consumer safety & satisfaction comes second. Everywhere you turn these days in the news is something “flawed” or a “mistake” made by a company. Yes, these errors can occur, but if you were illicit in your participation and instigated the whole issue, then you are to blame and whatever “settlement” you made (Xanga’s settlement ranged around $1 million and was forced to increase its privacy controls) is not enough. Considering Xanga’s settlement, I think that it is trivial. First of all, a company should not be forced to increase its privacy controls. It should want to increase those controls. Protecting your customers interests is a good sign of customer service. Is putting a few extra dollars in your pocket worth your young child’s life in the hands of a sexual predator?

The blame lies squarely on you, corporate America. Shame on you…

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."