Extension of year of birth in profile from 2004 to current year

The maximum year of birth that one can choose on their profile is 2004. If there is such an option as choosing the year of birth, it should include people of all ages. Many social networks like facebook, twitter do not allow those who under 13 or 14 to use they services and many have not respectful policy to them such as allowing to delete a profile on parent’s request or spying for them, etc.

I think that it is important to change this detail and include all the years till current for example or solve it somehow in another way.

We do not allow access for anyone under 13 for a range of legal reasons. In the US, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act basically disallows us to provide services to people younger than 13 without the parents written consent. In Germany, § 1.1 in the Jugendschutzgesetz defines everyone <= 14 years old as a child and a podmin would need a confirmation letter form the parents as well.

Podmins are welcome to remove the age limitation from the code if they know what they are getting into, including the requirement to manually check, validate, and approve registrations from people younger than the legal limit. However, since we don’t even provide any mechanics for reviewing registrations, this is unlikely a thing we would support in the core code distribution.

Well, people are not asked to provide any personal information such as date of birth or passport name, when they register on diaspora, which is a good thing. As it is said “You can be whoever you want to be in diaspora*. Unlike some networks, you don’t have to use your real identity.” How it could be said “We do not allow access for” if it is everyone who seemed to be allowed access in the first place? How it comes to “a letter of confirmation from a parent” if everyone can register?

Thank you for the answer but it made me think of very principles diaspora is found. So, what will happen if there are users of diaspora who are under 13/14 and without confirmation of parents? And on whose behalf are you speaking by saying We do not allow", isn’t diaspora all about decentralized pods so there cannot be any “we” who allow access to someone or not?

If the young user did not state their age (which, obviously, they can’t), then the podmin is not aware of any COPPA violations, so it’s not a risk until proved otherwise. From a legal standpoint, it’s that simple. If we’d allow younger birth years per default, the administrator would clearly be aware of the violation.

I made clear before that every podmin is able and welcome to remove the restriction in their code. I just said I have doubts such a change will be made in the official code, which is indeed controlled by “us”, which is the group of people merging stuff.

Now it seems better. And if the parent will ask to delete a profile of their child? Or if that will be somehow known that this is a young person? Oh, and as far as I know there are laws using those governments can request personal data of some people. Will you give it? I think that I kind of knew that but the answer about young people made me think that this all is connected. Even if there could be a legal reason such as age or government requesting for personal data or censorship you will try to do the best unless that you really have to and there is a at least decision of the court or something like this? You will not easily deny and close access to a younger person using diaspora, will you?

And by the way, I don’t know the personal views on it but would be a bit better if questions on topics like this will be answered in a technical way, like that this will be problematic due to laws of some countries and it will not imply that those laws are correct and as one who answers is actively supporting them. There are many laws in different countries that abuse rights to privacy and access and those laws are one of them.

I am literally unable to answer everything you asked in the first paragraph. We do not ship rules on how a podmin should handle their pod with the software, so it’s better if you ask that question to the person who is running your pod. Also not sure what you want to accomplish by asking questions that way. :wink:

Once again, if a podmin decides to do stuff different, then that’s not a problem to the project, is it? Everything a podmin decides is ultimately the podmins decision, and their responsibility. That’s nothing the software maintainer really can influence since it is somewhat hard to control installations of free software.

Not sure where you’re heading with your second paragraph, but personal opinions do not really matter here. Let’s say we’d distribute a copyrighted image as part of our default software, for example to use it in our default splash screen. That clearly would be a copyright violation. Regardless of your or my opinion on this topic, it still would be a copyright violation and podmins could pay high penalties for that. So we, as a project, are far better of avoiding any conflict potential in the first place. If a podmin then decides to violate any laws because they think the law is wrong, that’s their decision, but that does not have any influence on every other pod in the world.

Anyway, as for the original topic, we’ve had discussions about this in the past and it was suggested to simply add a configuration to allow podmins to set their minimal age. However, nobody seemed to be interested so nobody implemented it.

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Podmins can already set the minimum_age in the diaspora.yml (the default is 13).

Everything else is already answered by @denschub: What a podmin allows and how a podmin reacts to requests is all decided by the podmin, that is nothing we as the project can do.


Oh. Eh, right. :blush:

I think a special pod for babies could be quite a neat idea…

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So if a person < 13 years ran their own pod or uses the pod of their parents and another pod receives personal data of this person from the federation, what does that podmin have to consider? Is this data currently rejected when a minimum_age is set?

minimum_age is only a local thing, what the podmin allows to select on the profile edit page. Other pods don’t care about the age and remote profiles aren’t rejected.

Ok, this may be a legal issue. I don’t know how COPPA works with federated networks, but this seems to be an open point.