New EU law could ban teenagers under 16 from using social media and email without parental consent

By midian182
Dec 15, 2015
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  1. A new change to EU data protection laws could make it illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to have accounts on social media sites, access emails, download apps, and possibly even use search engines without their parents’ consent.

    The move could see tech-savvy teens banned from sites and apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Teenagers under 16 make up a large portion of these companies’ users, and several US tech groups are lobbying against the proposals.

    The proposed amendments would make it illegal for services such as social media sites to collect information on users under 16 without their parents consent. It’s unclear how the services would confirm that consent, and many are worried it will result in young teens lying about their age while important online support services are restricted.

    Currently, social networks and many other sites have a minium age of 13, in compliance with European and American laws. Should the new laws be agreed – which are due to be voted on by an EU committee this Thursday - then countries will have two years to implement them. Failure to do so could mean fines of up to four percent of an organization’s annual turnover, and that could mean companies like Facebook having to pay out millions of dollars.

    Several groups have voiced their opposition to the proposals, including The Diana Award Youth Board, which aims to protect children from bullying.

    "Children aged 13 and above have long accessed online services; an artificial and sudden change to this threshold will likely result in many children between the ages of 13 and 15 lying about their ages in order to continue accessing online services - rather than asking their parents to consent," TDAYB said in an open letter. "This development would make it far more difficult for online services to offer children age-appropriate guidance and tools to ensure a safe and privacy-protective experience online.”

    The ICT Coalition for Children Online also spoke out against the proposals: "The consequences of the proposed change are very significant for European society," the group said. "Online services have provided children with a safe place to explore and learn and indeed, according to renown researcher Dr David Finkelhor, appear to have had a significantly positive impact on many aspects of safety and behavior.”

    Image credit: carballo / shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,514   +676

    So, if such a thing were put in place the first question would be Enforcement? and Penalties? and Value? Not saying it's a bad idea, just that it needs a lot more thought and input, especially from parents and responsible adults that can talk about the impacts social media has had on their early lives. It again begs the question "just because we can, does it mean we should?"
  3. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,374   +2,165

    I fully support this. It has worked extraordinarily well with adult content.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,113   +1,377

    This is never gonna work. Never mind teenagers, there are many kids below 10 who know a lot more about computers than adults today.

    This is the age of progress, and it is impossible to bottle up, neither it should be.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2015
    learninmypc and ikesmasher like this.
  5. TheBigT42

    TheBigT42 TS Member Posts: 32   +14

    But underage abortions with out parental consent would still be A OK!
    ikesmasher likes this.
  6. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,526   +830


    No reason to use the law to force parential permission; Thats what parenting is there for to begin with. This is governmental overreach if you ask me. They should be worried about actual issues.
  7. Sphynx

    Sphynx TS Enthusiast Posts: 41

    Just more proof the EU is useless.
  8. kuroiei

    kuroiei TS Enthusiast Posts: 93   +31

    It's somewhat stimulating economically but sometimes its ideology and ideas are dumb and confusing.
  9. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,079   +331

    lmao nothing surprises me out of the UK anymore.

    The problem here is the parents not monitoring their children online. Or using the computer as a babysitter, instead of spending time with them.

    So lets try and band aid fix it by banning it for everyone under 16!!

    And for the parents learn to use a friggin computer go take a course do something when your 8 year old is better with a computer than you expect problems in the near future.

    Go UK!
  10. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,889   +645

    Lived in the UK all my life, I'm 23 years old, I have 2 younger brothers, youngest is 10. I have lived growing up to seeing Facebook take off, I was around when MySpace was big, always been a big computer user, same with both my brothers.
    I have seen parents use computers as baby sitters, I don't know a single parent from my pool of friends or brothers friends that monitor anything their kids do online, or seem to even care. This goes for my own parents, they told my youngest brother off the other day for watching a "Aussie reviews" YouTube channel because he swears, yet they turn a blind eye to him playing GTA5 online...

    You have hit the nail on the head, this ruling is being decided by people who obviously have no idea what their kids do on the Internet, and rather than trying to learn or do any sort of research into it, it's just easier to ban it...
  11. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,292   +55

    There goes that stock.
  12. Rasta211

    Rasta211 TS Booster Posts: 209   +30

    LOL, good luck with this.
  13. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Guru Posts: 503   +42

    "social media sites, access emails, download apps, and possibly even use search engines"

    So essentially they want to make it illegal for all under 16s... to use the net. What a steaming pile of horse sh*t. Imagine the millions of young ones on sites like youtubes, or downloading "apps" for their tablets etc all this would be illegal. God sometimes I think 99% of politicians have their heads in the clouds.
  14. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,373   +310

    "Last year which was 2018 the European Government posted reports of 2,109,211 teenagers have been sentenced to well over 200 years in prison for crimes of - social media interaction, sent & received & read emails to friends, all of these crimes were without parental consent"
  15. I think this is a great idea. They'll probably use real names to signup and numbers from state id cards to verify. So less children would be able to lie about there age, and parents would have to be more responsible if their id numbers are to be used to co-sign.
    The down drop is that communication would be limited at a certain level, and less privacy with more restrictions, tyranny, and monitoring. Up top, less mischieve over the wires, negetive influences, deter crime and violence.
    I say we switch on parental controls by default, protect the children.
  16. HiImTim

    HiImTim TS Rookie Posts: 29

    It's impossible to enforce such a law.
  17. EClyde

    EClyde TS Maniac Posts: 618   +143

    Good idea. And remember...Elvis Presley and Rock and Roll are going to destroy the youth of America...what you think that's BS? Jokes on you Bub
    ikesmasher likes this.
  18. rhdevries

    rhdevries TS Rookie

    Not a bad idea. Kids shouldn't be on those sites anyways. Get a book or go play outside is what I say!

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