EDITORIAL: Technology that targets children needs serious vetting

As we celebrate Computer Science Education Week, two tech giants have their own way of celebrating.

As we celebrate Computer Science Education Week, two tech giants have their own way of celebrating.

50 years ago codes that could be written by children were first i

ntroduced. In technological lingo, a code is a computer language understood by computers to perform certain functions. So it would be safe to say that the world is celebrating the biggest impact on this generation; information technology.

Now, Google always comes up with innovative ways to celebrate certain events using its signature doodle (the logo on the top of the search page). To celebrate the Kids Coding anniversary, it has designed coding doodle to encourage more children to learn coding. It is actually setting ground for ICT’s future.

Facebook on its part is targeting children for a different reason altogether. In order to attract more traffic (read revenues), it has introduced a new addition on its popular Messenger, a version that seeks to attract children as young as six years old.

While Facebook has been quick to assure that the new app will give parents the last say as to who their children chat with or befriend, it has raised quite a few eyebrows in a world where many children are victims of cyber abuse.

This is very shaky ground that regulators will have to handle with care. Removing safeguards such as the minimum age one can subscribe to a service is not only dangerous, but could be exposing children to more dangers.

Many children today are tech savvy and will always manage to find ways around their parents’ policing while Facebook smiles all the way to the bank.