Online ID card for teens debuts

A Scottish company has launched a virtual age and identity card designed to verify teenagers before they chat online.

Net-ID-me, released this week, allows internet users to exchange electronic ID cards before interacting online, according to the company website. The card displays a member's first name, age, gender and approximate location. The verification system is similar to the way passports are authenticated.

"The aim of is to empower young people to protect themselves online," according to the company website. "A Net-ID helps to significantly reduce the risk off a young person being approached by an internet predator."

Registered users who meet online can ask to see each other's Net-IDs by exchanging usernames and signing on to the company's website. The annual subscription is $18.99 in the United States, although the service also is offered in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

Each time a user checks the identification of someone whom they meet online, they are awarded points, which are redeemable for prizes such as music downloads, according to the company website.

A company spokesman could not be reached for comment today.

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