MySpace to share sex offender data

By on May 21, 2007, 5:56 PM
After much pressure and legal demands from several state attorneys general, MySpace has agreed to give state authorities details about registered sex offenders known to have been users. MySpace has been deleting registered sex offenders' profiles from the service since May 2, based on information provided by Sentinel Tech Holdings, a company that provides online identity verification services.

"In addition to immediately removing registered sex offenders from MySpace, our plans have always been to provide the information collected by Sentinel SAFE to law enforcement, including the attorneys general," Mike Angus, executive VP and general counsel of Fox Interactive Media, said in a prepared statement.

Angus said the company was happy to have worked with the attorneys general in coming up with a solution that allows it to provide the information for criminal investigations and probation or parole proceedings.

The information will include details on 7,000 MySpace profiles linked to people convicted of sex crimes. Although this is a first step towards a safer environment on the popular social networking site, the information provided won't concern sex offenders who aren't registered or are registered under an alias. The attorneys general will continue to put pressure on MySpace to take a proactive stance towards protecting children from such threats, such as verifying both the age and identify of its users not exactly an easy task for a service that accepts users from all over the world.

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