Parental Consent

We are building solutions for school age children (18 and under). It
is very important to get consent from parents. Since receiving hand-
signed consents is not feasible, has anyone used a different technique
using credit card verification or some other method? Thx.

There's a fun way to do this.

Check out a bunch of porn sites and find one built on Rails, then
reach out to the developer.

The sort of verification you're looking for is pretty much the same as
what they do (18+), it differs only in where its applied.

Do you just want to verify the age of the user, or actually get parental consent? The latter would be tougher I'd think. You'd need to know that the person whose credit card was being used was actually the parent/guardian of the child user. And even then you don't know that Junior didn't just sneak mom's CC out of her purse without her knowledge.

Off top, how about requiring the user to give e-mail addresses both for themselves, and for a parent. You send an e-mail to the parent address explaining what's going on, and asking them to come to your site, verify *their* age and have them endorse a statement to the effect that they are the parent of <<child e-mail address>> and give their permission for child to use your site.

Check out a bunch of porn sites and find one built on Rails, then reach out to the developer.

Validation by credit card is iron-clad - if you can convince a viewer to whip out their card.

A certain underage relative of mine told MySpace.com she's 26 or something, and she now has full privileges. MySpace's ass is relatively legally covered, so that should be all that matters.

Let your users lie, and keep going!