A Time Old Tale: A Founder’s (Frenetic) Internal Thoughts
2 weeks to launch date. So many things to do. But first, another cup of coffee. Oh, but before that, let me ping the website designer for a quick status update on that misspelling on the landing page…
1 week to launch date. Should we push this thing out a bit? No, we need to do this now. Perfect is the enemy of good, let’s just get this launched and fix that issue with the product page images later. Should I get coffee now, or just save it for that meeting in half an hour?…
2 days to launch date. 11:26pm. Can kids pay by credit card when they check out? Hold on, do kids these days have their own credit cards? No way. What if they use their parents’ cards…they might not even tell them about the purchase! Hmm…this could be some exposure I don’t want to take on. We should have thought about privacy issues too. I’m sure children are protected differently from adults. I’ll send Zainab an email right now – or maybe it’s too late? – It’s ok, we’ll schedule a call tomorrow. We’re launching in 48 hours…
Founders! Startups! If you are operating an online business, or have a website or mobile application through which you collect data (regardless of whether you then sell it, disclose it, store it or delete it), there are a few basic things to have in place:
- Privacy Statements: what are you telling your users you do with data?
- Privacy Policies: what are the internal policies you and your team will follow?
- Basic data security measures your business has and should have in place at launch
But 13 year olds cannot pay for services online, unless they have a credit card that an adult is co-signer on. It’s important to recognize that the issue of “payment by minors” really applies to those under 18. The legal minimum age for a credit card in the US is 18, so technically anyone under 18 will need to have a co-signer. It is difficult for a business to know when cards are properly co-signed, or when an adult’s credit card is misused by someone under the age of 18 (knowingly or with permission of adult). Moreover, your business should not bear the responsibility (and liability) for monitoring this.
Given this, the payment issue affects users between the age of 13-17.