French children might need parental consent to join Facebook

The French government has proposed a new law that will require children under sixteen to seek parental consent prior to joining Facebook and other social networks.

“Joining Facebook will involve parental authorisation for minors aged under sixteen”, said Nicole Belloubet, The French Justice Minister. This stipulation is part of a drafted bill concerning privacy and data regulation that the French parliament will vote on.

Restricting children’s access to social media

If the proposed law is passed this move will be part of a series of attempts by the French government to regulate and curb children’s use and access to digital media. The drafted law would require minors under sixteen to tick a box indicating they have received their parents or guardians permission.

Ticking a box may not be the most effective solution which is why Jim Daly, The Irish Minister for Older People advocates for the EU to implement a new policy that would require “multinationals, such as Facebook” to verify a user’s age by crossing checking their date of birth with their national identification card or passport. Daly argues, “I do not want to restrict EU citizens’ access to the internet but rather place more emphasis on multinational corporations to take more responsibility in being proactive with offering a secure service and to safeguard our children.”

Author: Julia Zvobgo

Julia Zvobgo is a Cultural Anthropologist. She is also the Community Manager and Events Manager of Child in the City.

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