Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

From the Department of the Obvious: Poll Finds Parents Are Worried About Privacy on Social Networks

A national poll released today by Common Sense Media asking how well social networks protect kids online produced an answer that should come as a shock to exactly no one:

Not very well, at least according to parents.

A full 75 percent of them gave social networking sites such as Facebook a negative rating for the task.

About 2,000 parents were polled by the nonprofit media organization, as well as 400 teens, who also gave thumbs down to social networks’ ability to police themselves.

There will be a big roundtable discussion on the topic in Washington, D.C., this morning, which will include Common Sense Media head Jim Steyer, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Deputy Secretary of Education Anthony Miller.

Along with the poll results, San Francisco-based Common Sense Media said it will also announce the launch of the “Protect Our Privacy–Protect Our Kids” campaign to help parents protect kids’ reputations and personal information online.

I love the smell of impending privacy legislation in the morning!

Already from Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts: “As the House author of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, I remain intently interested in ensuring that children are not targeted online and their privacy is strictly protected. Twelve years after the bill was signed into law, entire new technologies and industries have emerged that could put children’s safety at risk, making a legislative update necessary. I look forward to introducing such legislation to bring COPPA into the 21st century.”

Thus, here is more for pols to chew on: The bulk of those surveyed are more concerned with online privacy than they were five year ago (another obvious one); parents do not believe Web sites, including search engines such as Google (GOOG), should share the location of kids (count me in on that one too!); and teens think their friends overshare (you think?).

But instead of me telling you, just read it all here in top-line results for adults and teens, as well as in the official press release:


Final CSM adults topline


Final CSM teen topline


Privacy Poll Results and Campaign Launch


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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle