UK Proposes Stricter Child Safety Rules for Social Media

first_imgThe UK is calling on social media to step up their child safety guidelines.Turning off reaction buttons and limiting data collection are among the 16 recommendations for age-appropriate design, released this week by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).“There has to be a balancing act: protecting people online while embracing the opportunities that digital innovation brings,” UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham wrote in a blog post.“And when it comes to children, that’s more important than ever,” she continued. “In an age when children learn how to use a tablet before they can ride a bike, making sure they have the freedom to play, learn, and explore in the digital world is of paramount importance.”Some proposed standards seem obvious: limit how children’s personal data is collected, used, and shared; disable geolocation tools and targeted advertising as standard.Others, as recommended by the ICO, may not be:Ensure privacy information and policies are concise, prominent, and easy to understandAlert children if their parent or guardian is monitoring their online activityIntroduce age verification checks or treat all users as if they were childrenAvoid using “nudge” techniques (Snapchat “streaks,” Facebook “likes”) to tease out unnecessary personal data or keep under-18s online longerThis code, as described in a consultation document, is aimed at providers of information society services—i.e. anyone producing apps, programs, websites, games, community environments, connected toys, and devices with or without a screen that are “likely to be accessed by children in the UK.”Companies that do not comply with the new standards could face fines up to €20 million ($22.59 million) or 4 percent of their annual global turnover (about $1.6 billion for Facebook, The Guardian reported).“The answer is not to protect children from the digital world, but to protect them within it,” Denham said (emphasis hers).The code, expected to come into effect before the end of this year, will be the first of its kind, helping to “set an international benchmark,” according to Denham.“It will leave online service providers in no doubt about what is expected of them when it comes to looking after children’s personal data,” she wrote. “It will help create an open, transparent, and protected place for children when they are online.”This isn’t the ICO’s first feud with Facebook.In October, it fined the social network £500,000 ($654,152) for breaches of data protection law. An investigation found that, between 2007 and 2014, Facebook “unfairly” processed users’ personal information by allowing app developers access without informed consent.More on Geek.com:Facebook ‘Likes’ Speak Louder Than WordsStudy: Children, Not Adults, Easily Influenced by RobotsSophia the Robot Has a Cute Little Sister That Teaches Kids to Codelast_img

first_imgThe UK is calling on social media to step up their child safety guidelines.Turning off reaction buttons and limiting data collection are among the 16 recommendations for age-appropriate design, released this week by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).“There has to be a balancing act: protecting people online while embracing the opportunities that digital innovation brings,” UK Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham wrote in a blog post.“And when it comes to children, that’s more important than ever,” she continued. “In an age when children learn how to use a tablet before they can ride a bike, making sure they have the freedom to play, learn, and explore in the digital world is of paramount importance.”Some proposed standards seem obvious: limit how children’s personal data is collected, used, and shared; disable geolocation tools and targeted advertising as standard.Others, as recommended by the ICO, may not be:Ensure privacy information and policies are concise, prominent, and easy to understandAlert children if their parent or guardian is monitoring their online activityIntroduce age verification checks or treat all users as if they were childrenAvoid using “nudge” techniques (Snapchat “streaks,” Facebook “likes”) to tease out unnecessary personal data or keep under-18s online longerThis code, as described in a consultation document, is aimed at providers of information society services—i.e. anyone producing apps, programs, websites, games, community environments, connected toys, and devices with or without a screen that are “likely to be accessed by children in the UK.”Companies that do not comply with the new standards could face fines up to €20 million ($22.59 million) or 4 percent of their annual global turnover (about $1.6 billion for Facebook, The Guardian reported).“The answer is not to protect children from the digital world, but to protect them within it,” Denham said (emphasis hers).The code, expected to come into effect before the end of this year, will be the first of its kind, helping to “set an international benchmark,” according to Denham.“It will leave online service providers in no doubt about what is expected of them when it comes to looking after children’s personal data,” she wrote. “It will help create an open, transparent, and protected place for children when they are online.”This isn’t the ICO’s first feud with Facebook.In October, it fined the social network £500,000 ($654,152) for breaches of data protection law. An investigation found that, between 2007 and 2014, Facebook “unfairly” processed users’ personal information by allowing app developers access without informed consent.More on Geek.com:Facebook ‘Likes’ Speak Louder Than WordsStudy: Children, Not Adults, Easily Influenced by RobotsSophia the Robot Has a Cute Little Sister That Teaches Kids to Codelast_img

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