Europe's teens face tighter controls online

15 December 2015

slow-internet-connection The teenagers of Europe are looking at having tighter parental controls foisted on their internet. Mercifully for them, they tend to be rather savvy at circumnavigating such things, so they shouldn't worry themselves unduly, and can go back to fretting about spots and people not wanting to get off with them.

There's discussions to see that they'll need parental permission to join the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat before the age of 16, according to new EU data protection proposals. It would become illegal for companies to handle data from anyone aged 15 or younger, without their parents' consent.

The amendment states that processing data of "a child below the age of 16 years shall only be lawful if and to the extent that such consent is given or authorised by the holder of parental responsibility over the child".

Of course, the social networks themselves won't be happy, as there's a lot of money to be made out of young people with disposable income. In fact, a bunch of companies including Facebook, Google, and Twitter, have got together to rally against this, saying that negotiators are rushing everything through and not consulting child-safety organisations.

In one case, the ICT Coalition for Children Online say that there's been absolutely no explanation for raising the age for 16, adding that they think things should stay as they are (13 years old is the accepted age). Basically, all that is going to happen here, is that kids are going to lie about their age, and it could well restrict them from having access to useful information.

The final round of talks kick off today.

TOPICS:   Technology   Social Media

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