Genachowski: FCC may require safety features for kids


"It's a very different world now. There are more TVs in the home. More importantly there are many more channels on the TV that present many more challenges. TV's aren't the only screens anymore. Kids have computers and teachers are requiring them to consult the Internet to do their homework but there are obviously dangers for kids on the Internet. The mobile phone is a new screen that presents a whole realm of concerns."

Shapiro suggested that mandating TV and computer manufacturers to build in a special feature could backfire. He pointed out the V-Chip, a piece of technology that is supposed to block violent material on TVs, that was mandated in a bill by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) several years ago.

Despite the mandate, the technology did not take off with consumers.

Genachowski said he thinks companies can come up with a variety of ways to protect children without government requirements.

"I'm very hopeful that there can be private sector solutions," he said. "If there aren't, the government will act. The concerns parents have are serious."