Los Angeles – A new survey conducted by Consumer Reports
found that, of the 20 million minors who actively use Facebook, 7.5 million
were under the social network’s age requirement of 13 years, and more than five
million were under 10 years old, CNET reports.
"In the past year, the use
of Facebook has exposed more than five million online U.S. households to some
type of abuse including virus infections, identity theft, and — for a million
children — bullying," Consumer reports said.
Like all online companies,
Facebook is required by the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to
obtain parental permission before using data submitted by children under 13.
"We appreciate the attention that these reports and other experts are
giving this matter and believe this will provide an opportunity for parents,
teachers, safety advocates, and Internet services to focus on this area, with
the ultimate goal of keeping young people of all ages safe online,"
Facebook said in a statement.
The company also noted that such reports
highlight "just how difficult it is to implement age restrictions on the
Internet and that there is no single solution to ensuring younger children
don’t circumvent a system or lie about their age."