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VeriSign To Digitally ID Children

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-02-11

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Today, VeriSign plans to unveil a program that would offer digital identities to children. VeriSign already plays a huge role on the Internet as it is the leading provider of infrastructure services and is responsible for managing the dot-com and dot-net domains. The California-based company has also recently been a source of controversy due to recent criticism of its "Site Finder" search service, which makes money off online users' typing mistakes.

According to ZDNet, VeriSign is currently working in partnership with the non-profit foundation i-Safe America to bring these new digital IDs to children ranging in age from 12 to 17 years old. This new program hopes to improve the online safety of children enrolled in the program. Child safety on the Internet is already a huge concern as over 48 million children ranging from ages 5 to 17 use the Internet on a regular basis in the United States alone, according to the Department of Commerce. By 2005, it is expected that over 77 million children in the U.S. will become online regulars, increasing the need for safety precautions against cyber crimes.

"Using the Internet for communications and research has become second nature for today's school children. By providing these students with digital credentials, we're providing them, their teachers, and their parents with another proactive tool to help them use the Internet more safely," said Teri Schroeder, Chief Executive Officer of i-SAFE America. i-Safe is hoping to round up 1,000 children for a pilot program that will be offered in first Kentucky and Nebraska, according to ZDNet, and other states will follow.

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