EU rules for children on social media

Claim made by: European Parliament
Location: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20151217IPR08112/new-eu-rules-on-data-protection-put-the-citizen-back-in-the-driving-seat
Spotted on: 2015-12-17

"Kids on social media: children below a certain age will need to get their parents' permission ("parental consent") to open an account on social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, as is already the case in most EU countries today. The new, flexible rules ensure that member states can set their own limits, provided these are between the 13th and 16th birthdays, thus giving them the freedom to maintain those they already apply."
However, UK’s Family Online Safety Institute, stated in an open letter: “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”.

What is the evidence that children, whether between 13 and 16, or younger than 13, are protected by this measure? What problems is this measure addressing? And what is the evidence that this will be more effective than improving the education in digital literacy?

Update 2016-11-24

I didn't get an email reply, but after some pressure on Twitter, I did get a reply there:

@sofvanthournout There are different age levels for parental consent for data of children in all EU member states. The GDPR harmonizes them.

@JanAlbrecht So this is just about harmonisation? Not about good, sensible policy?

@sofvanthournout It is. Having one age level is far better than 28. And 13 is used in the US successfully. That's why Parliament proposed it

@JanAlbrecht What did the USA age limit achieve? And is there evidence for that?

No reply to that last question. So I only received a confirmation that this is a good legislation, but no evidence to support that claim.

Rating

It's nonsense

Comments: 2

Medium
Sofie Vanthournout

I didn't get an email reply, but after some pressure on Twitter, I did get a reply there:

@sofvanthournout There are different age levels for parental consent for data of children in all EU member states. The GDPR harmonizes them.

@JanAlbrecht So this is just about harmonisation? Not about good, sensible policy?

@sofvanthournout It is. Having one age level is far better than 28. And 13 is used in the US successfully. That's why Parliament proposed it

@JanAlbrecht What did the USA age limit achieve? And is there evidence for that?

No reply to that last question. So I only received a confirmation that this is a good legislation, but no evidence to support that claim.

45
Medium
Sofie Vanthournout

I have asked the Parliament's lead MEP on the regulation, Jan Philipp Albrecht, for the evidence behind this decision.

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