The EU aren't putting social media age limit up to 16

18 December 2015

a child on the internet
A boy, playing with the internet

We told you that Europe's teens were about to face tighter controls on their internet use. The whole thing looked like a nonsense from the off, and it seems the EU has agreed and said that member states should set their own age limits for social media use.

It seems they came to this conclusion, because no-one could agree on a catch-all policy. No surprises there.

"Member states will now be free to set their own limits between 13 and 16 years," said Jan Philipp Albrecht, the European Parliament's lead MEP on the new data protection rules.

There was talk of banning kids from using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like, unless they had the consent of their parents. The idea was that you'd have to be 16 to be able to use them without asking anyone else.

Of course, under-16s would've just lied about their age, and any other stops put in place would have been easily side-stepped by young 'uns.

When the 16 age limit was put forward, a number of organisations teamed together, including the Family Online Safety Institute. In an open letter, they warned that this change is a dreadful idea. They said: "We feel that moving the requirement for parental consent from age 13 to age 16 would deprive young people of educational and social opportunities in a number of ways, yet would provide no more (and likely even less) protection."

So, rejoice teens, as the new draft law will allow countries to set their own social media age limit, which will be confirmed by a vote in the European Parliament's civil liberties committee.

TOPICS:   Social Media   Privacy

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