Will Your iPod Get A V-Chip?

from the yeah,-that's-useful dept

Why do politicians feel the need to tinker with technology and force everyone else to go along with it? All it usually does is make things more expensive. The latest in this direction might not be that big a deal — but hints of more to come. New legislation being introduced by three Senators to research the impact on kids being exposed to consumer electronics products and media all the time. This follows a study pointing out that kids rooms have become “multimedia arcades.” Studying the impact of this seems like a good idea, actually. We should find out what kind of impact this has on kids. However, the tendency of politicians to overreact “for the children” should make some people skeptical of where this is heading. Adam Thierer is already pointing out that much of the language being used to promote this bill suggests the next step will be to put “V-chip” style technology into more consumer electronics products, such as iPods and X-Boxes. Never mind the fact that V-chips in TVs are not all that widely used. Also, it’s still not clear why this needs to be mandated. If parents want to have V-Chip style control over TVs (or other consumer electronics), shouldn’t the market come out with such products on their own? Why should it be mandated to be in every such product, when only a small percentage of them will find the chip useful?

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