Currently only those in the preview program who are over 18 are able to access the new dashboard features (Facebook, Twitter & Last.fm) and this has undoubtebly caused a riff amongst users who are underage and therefore restricted from using the new applications. However a recent post at Major Nelsons blog has addressed the issue and what Microsoft are planning to do about it.
The topic of opening these apps up to minors is a tricky one because no doubt if something were to go wrong as a result of someone using them, Microsoft would immediately be held responsible for it for not properly policing the services and offering it to minors. So therefore rather than rule out the use of it to minors altogether, they are planning to let the parents decide whether or not their children can have access to these apps.
As some of you might be aware, those under the age of 18 are not able to access Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm in our public preview. I want to you let you know that this will remain the case when it launches to the world soon. We made this decision because as it stands now, parents arenít able to use Family Settings to customize which of these applications their children can access. In order to offer an age-appropriate environment for everyone, we decided to turn off these applications for those Gold members under the age of 18. As expected, this has been a hot topic with the preview users. We want to make sure everyone was aware, however, that the development team is working on an update that gives parents the choice of which social applications their children can access. This means that Xbox LIVE members between the ages of 13 and 17 will be able to use Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm as long as their parents approve. The team hope to roll this out several weeks after launch and I will update you on the exact date as it gets closer.