Mazu Tech Company Creator and Kelowna MP Stephen Fuhr, photo provided by Mandy Glinsbockel

Okanagan start-up asks Ottawa to protect kids online

Mazu’s online petition to protect children while online is over halfway to it’s goal of 500 signatures

Children are some of the most active users on the internet; however the web can be a dangerous place for kids.

Making the internet safer for children is the number one priority for a Kelowna start-up and if enough people sign a petition this local company will fulfill it’s goal.

Mazu has launched a Privacy and Data Protection petition, to go before the House of Commons, to help protect children’s privacy and safety while browsing the web.

Tech founder and creator of Mazu, Janice Taylor said Canada currently has no regulations in place to ensure the security of youth.

READ MORE: Mazu was featured at SXSW StartUp Spotlight

“This petition is really some of the first legislation for children’s digital rights. The hopes for this petition is to raise awareness and conversation to really put in some protections in place for the future, right now there isn’t any. There isn’t anything when the children enter any of these digital spaces; what happens to their information, but also further to that if there are any incidents there isn’t any kind of legal recourse, there isn’t a lot of protection for them in place,” said the creator of Mazu, Janice Taylor.

Taylor said, Mazu founded the idea by mirroring the United States Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

READ MORE: Okanagan tech company Mazu jeopardized by stalled funding, says owner

“We started looking at what the U.S. is doing with COPPA and then we started looking the United Kingdom and Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and there’s lots of protections happening around data and privacy and then we looked at Canada and realized we don’t have one and we thought we have to lead this,” said Taylor.

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr is also on board with the petition.

“As the tech industry evolves, so must the regulations around children’s digital rights and safety. I’m proud to support this petition and the effort to create a safer online space for kids,” he said.

READ MORE: Kelowna website finds financial life support

Statistics posted on Mazu’s website state 71 per cent of teens admitted to hiding online activities from parents and 87 per cent of bullied teens were targeted on facebook.

Mazu has set a goal to get 500 signatures on their online petition.

Here is what the tech company plans to do if they reach their goal.


@LarynGilmour
laryn.gilmour@blackpress.ca

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