Safe chat flop

In 2005, Belgian authorities started a new project: a Safe chat platform for all children between 12 and 15. Authenticated with their eID card, the goal was to keep all potential “predators” away from our children. Nice try but today some statistics were released:

  • February 2007: 75 visitors (average: 3 visitors/day)
  • January 2007: 26 visitors
  • December 2006: 12 visitors

On the other side, almost all teenagers have a MSN account! They exchange homeworks, news,… It’s a sign of socialization! Does it mean that teenagers like unsafe environment? No! Simply, they go where there is fun! Would you be happy to chat in a room with less than five users? It’s a classic the chicken or the egg problem!

Authorities said that they will be more and more visitors once eIDs and readers will be massively deployed. I doubt!


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