New Delhi: "The world has gone way ahead, we are way behind" on protection of children from online abuse, the Delhi High Court told the Centre, lamenting lack of adequate laws to address the issue.
The court's observation came even as Facebook and Google, which were asked to submit affidavits detailing measures that are available on their sites as protection against misuse, told it they cannot physically verify the age of the users and it is the responsibility of the legal guardians.
"You (Centre) are lacking.... You are behind time," a bench of Acting Chief Justice BD Ahmed and Justice Vibhu Bhakru said while hearing a PIL questioning how children below 13 years of age can open an account on social networking sites like Facebook and Orkut.
The court made the remarks after it was told by the petitioner that in the US there is a law 'Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)' according to which, a child below 13 years of age is not allowed to open an account.
"Do you have any such Act for online privacy? Nothing. You are not focused on this issue at all. The world has gone far ahead. We are way behind," the court told the Centre.
The bench was hearing arguments of petitioner and former RSS ideologue K N Govindacharya's counsel Veerag Gupta that children below 18 years are getting into an agreement with the social networking sites to open an account which is against the Indian Majority Act, the Indian Contract Act and also the Information and Technology Act.


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