Europe is going to restrict teens from using Facebook!
By the end of this week it could be illegal for any European child under 16 to use Facebook – or Snapchat or any messaging service – without the express consent of their parents. That, according to some interpretations, would be the result of a vote by an obscure committee to raise the digital age of consent from 13 to 16.
In the United States a law called Coppa gives extra online protection to children under 13, and Europe has had a similar policy – which is why the likes of Facebook have not allowed children in until they become teenagers.
Now, though, the European Parliament’s civil liberties and home affairs committee is considering a change which is opposed both by social media firms and many child protection experts.
A last minute amendment to Europe’s Data Protection Regulation, says this: “The processing of personal 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.”
In other words, online firms that want to deal with anyone under 16 will have to make sure they get mum or dad’s permission first. That according to several online safety experts, will make children more vulnerable not less.