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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Raising The Age Of Internet Consent (Europe)

First Click: Europe Wants to Raise the Age of Internet Consent to 16

Thomas Ricker | December 15, 2015

[Blogger's note: Bid To Block Under 16s From Facebook Scrapped. There had been a proposal to ban those aged 15 and under from using social media services unless they had their parents' consent. December 16, 2015.]
Duncan Robinson, Murah Ahmed, Hannah Kuchler reporting for the Financial Times on a last-minute amendment to EU data protection rules:
"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 authorized by the holder of parental responsibility over the child’. In previous drafts, this limit applied only to those 13 and under."
Negotiations around the law began today, and could be approved as early as tonight before ratification by the European Parliament in the new year. Countries would then have two years in which to implement the new rules.

We would like to share our concern regarding a modification to the wording of the European draft General Data Protection Regulation which would make it necessary anyone under the age of 16 to secure parental consent before using information society services. As experts working for the safety and wellbeing of children online, 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. wish to protest in the strongest terms and request that you urgently reconsider this decision. As professionals in the education and child protection sectors, we have been following evolutions of the draft text of the General Data Protection Regulation for a period of nearly 4 years, since January 2012. The original version of the text proposed by the European Commission and the amended European Parliament text set the age requirement for parental consent at 13 for children wishing to use information society services. Moving the age from 13 to 16 represents a major shift in policy on which it seems there has been no public consultation.

<more at; related links: (Britain opts out of EU law setting social media age of consent at 16. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram will be able to process data of anyone 13 and over after agreement reached. December 16, 2015) and (Is Europe really going to ban teenagers from Facebook and the internet? New European data protection rules would see companies require parental consent to handle data of those under 16, effectively blocking them from social media. December 15, 2015)>

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