Initially Myspace.com, the popular social networking website, used the federal privacy laws to try and steer away from providing information regarding sex offenders that are using the website. However, today the Associated Press (AP) released information that Myspace has agreed to provide several state attorneys general with data regarding the sex offenders. The data comes from Myspace and its partner Sentinel Tech Holding Corp., whom Myspace partnered with in December of 2006 to help create a comprehensive database of sex offenders on the social networking website. In an article posted on CNN.com, Mike Angus, who is the Executive Vice President & General Counsel said that
the company, owned by media conglomerate News Corp. had always planned to share information on sex offenders it identified and has already removed about 7,000 profiles out of a total of about 180 million.
The eight states that demanded that Myspace provide them with the information regarding sex offenders are North Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The groups primary motive is to protect children online from sexual predators and provide a clean and appropriate environment for them. Connecticut’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, states that
the release of data from Myspace is “limited in ultimate value because convicted-sex-offender profiles are probably just the most visible tip of the predator problem on MySpace.” He added that “the real problem now is the thousands of other predators that have never been convicted or are using aliases.”
Although there is no definitive response that Myspace’s action of helping protect its youth users from sex predators is going to make a significant difference, but it is absolutely a step in the right direction. Myspace.com currently has a 180 million members and continues to grow and with such growth will come a need for increased security and protection and thereby having Myspace cooperate with the state attorney generals is a positive sign for whats up ahead.