NZ Post to tighten net for Santa

By ALEXIS GRANT

New Zealand Post is redesigning its "Letter to Santa" webpage after complaints from parents that the site asks children for too much personal information.

The site, which requires kids to give their full name, email address and home address when they write a letter to Santa Claus, will suggest that children ask their parents before providing details, said Charlotte Schaefer, spokeswoman for NZ Post.

It will also make it clear that NZ Post is asking for the information, she said. The changes could be in place as early as this morning.

"We apologise to any parents who were concerned around it. Hopefully kids are still using it and sending letters to Santa," she said.

After the Herald reported complaints from parents about the site, http://santa.nzpost.co.nz/santa, the director of NetSafe, a non-profit organisation that deals with internet safety, spoke with NZ Post employees about how to improve the site.

Children need to know it's not okay to give their personal information out on the web, said Liz Butterfield, director of NetSafe, especially "when they do go online to other sites which are potentially dodgy".

"I would trust New Zealand Post, but I'd feel better knowing what they do with the information."

Rosalie Wayper, an Auckland resident who complained about the site, said its safety needed to be improved.

"There's stranger danger on the internet and you don't know who you're dealing with."

 

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