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Topic # 248909 15-Apr-2019 22:03
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I thought you might be interested in this report in today's Times:

 

 

 

"British children will no longer be able to “like” posts on Facebook and Instagram under plans for strict rules that will force social media giants to protect children online.

 

A code of conduct drawn up by the data watchdog is set to impose conditions on how technology companies treat under-18s, with the threat of fines totalling billions of pounds.

 

The measures, to be introduced by the Information Commissioner’s Office, come after strong criticism of tech giants by MPs and public figures. The Duke of Sussex warned this month that social media was “more addictive than drugs and alcohol”.

 

The 16 planned requirements include a ban on “nudge” tactics that encourage children to spend more time on apps, allowing companies to collect more data. The code gives the examples of “likes” on social media posts and “streaks”, a feature in Snapchat that rewards pairs of users who message each other every day.

 

Settings must also be “high privacy” by default unless there is a compelling reason. Only the minimum amount of personal data should be collected and held. Children’s data should not usually be shared, and not for commercial reuse, and technology that tracks children’s movements should be switched off by default in most circumstances.

 

The measures could lead to sites providing different versions for adults and children, or choosing to ban under-18s. The watchdog is demanding that social media companies use “robust” age verification measures to ensure that children are protected. If companies cannot show they know which users are adults, then users of all ages must be protected as if they were children.

 

The rules, which are intended to significantly limit the gathering of children’s data by social media companies, have been praised by campaigners as a “systemic change”. The code covers British and overseas companies that operate and have offices here. Experts said that it was possible some US tech giants would no longer serve Britain. Some American media companies stopped serving Europe after the introduction of the general data protection regulation (GDPR) last year.

 

The office’s draft rules are the first of their kind in the world and are expected to come into effect this year. The watchdog said that serious breaches of the code would lead to fines of up to 4 per cent of a company’s turnover under GDPR laws. This is equivalent to $2.2 billion in the case of Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram.

 

Most social networks have a theoretical minimum age of 13 but do not check users’ ages, leading to criticism that they gather children’s data on an industrial scale and expose under-18s to unsuitable content. Ofcom research indicates that half of children aged 11 and 12 have a social media profile. Experts have also raised concerns that some features such as “likes” were designed to keep users coming back.

 

Alan Woodward, of the University of Surrey, said that the measures could lead to some companies withdrawing from the UK. “If your whole business model assumes that you can exploit personal data then you may choose to leave the UK rather than risk these fines,” he said.

 

Elizabeth Denham, the Information Commissioner, said: “This is the connected generation. The internet and all its wonders are hardwired into their lives. We shouldn’t have to prevent our children from being able to use it, but we must demand that they are protected when they do. This code does that.” Andy Burrows, the NSPCC’s associate head of child safety online, said: “This is a really significant package of measures, but it must go hand in hand with the government following through to enshrine in law a duty of care on social networks and an independent regulator with powers to investigate and fine.”

 

The code is out for consultation until May 31."

 

 






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  Reply # 2217742 15-Apr-2019 22:57
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I was going to give you a +1 on that, but as I don't know how old you are, I won't, possibly for your own good, apparently.


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  Reply # 2217888 16-Apr-2019 08:47
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I would rather they enforced the minimum age first.

 

My daughter is pre-teen and "all of her friends" are on social media (they just fudge their age to get there)... I think it's highly inappropriate and she's quite miffed that she isn't online - but understands why. I cannot believe that parents just turn a blind eye to it (like buying R rated video games for children)


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 2217936 16-Apr-2019 09:01
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We live in a world now of increasing online censorship. Facebook, google etc are slowly corroding themselves and people (kids) will just find other alternatives. Facebook is not even the kids social media app of choice these days, I would not be too worried about it.

 

Musically (AKA TikTok) seems to have no restrictions and the kids are all over it. I was shocked at some of the content I have seen on this platform.


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  Reply # 2217955 16-Apr-2019 09:28
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DaveDog:

 

I cannot believe that parents just turn a blind eye to it (like buying R rated video games for children)

 

 

IME most parents have absolutely no idea what their kids are doing online and kids know they can join any platform they chose because any signup in the end is just a tickbox.

 

We decided long ago before our kids got anywhere near old enough for technology that we would educate rather than restrict. We have rules about device usage and reinforce them with our kids regularly but we've left it up to them to decide which platforms they use and how they use them.

 

You may not buy R rated games for your child but I bet they are watching youtube video of others playing them and are playing them at their friends houses.


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  Reply # 2217961 16-Apr-2019 09:36
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absolutely pointless laws without proper online identity. internet is vastly anonymous, social profiles are gimmicks.

 

the day they introduce online identity, dark net will rise once again :)

 

However, yes, they should protect kids, but I'd assume that should be on parents shoulders.





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  Reply # 2217978 16-Apr-2019 10:04
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I don't really participate in social media, at least not in the Facebookagram sense of it. I can't see any point, but that is probably just because I am 51..!

 

 

 

Clearly, to coin a politician's favourite phrase, 'something must be done'. However, given that the genie is not just out of the bottle, but over the hills and far away, the time for that something to be effective is probably long past.

 

 

 

I suppose you could (and I am sure many here who know far more about IT than I do will tell us why you couldn't!) introduce a portal through which the internet HAS to be accessed at a national level, which required something akin to a biometric driver's licence to get to anything that was deemed R18. At the very least the cost would be huge and the privacy concerns complicated especially in countries with much larger populations than NZ.








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  Reply # 2217979 16-Apr-2019 10:05
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Fred99:

 

I was going to give you a +1 on that, but as I don't know how old you are, I won't, possibly for your own good, apparently.

 

 

 

 

Good of you to be so considerate of my wellbeing! 😄






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  Reply # 2218158 16-Apr-2019 13:53
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yet more unenforceable laws that will have no real effect .

 

 

"The watchdog is demanding that social media companies use “robust” age verification measures to ensure that children are protected. If companies cannot show they know which users are adults, then users of all ages must be protected as if they were children."

 

 

How are they going to enforce this when the company isnt a UK Company & the Servers arnt in the UK ?

 

UK parliament couldnt even make Zuckerberg come in to testify to a parliamentary hearing. So how will they enforce UK laws

 

on foreign entities .

 

 

 

Trademe has a min age restriction, we all know thats never adhered to or enforced .

 

"Please note that Trade Me users must be at least 18 years of age"

 

yep, that age restriction worked .

 

 

Perhaps the next step is laws to restrict children's access to PC/console games , in case they become obsessed with gaming (as many do) . Then a legal restriction on TV watching rather than homework.

 

 

Put the little buggers in the army. That'll straighten them out. :-)

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  Reply # 2218217 16-Apr-2019 14:33
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1101: Put the little buggers in the army. That'll straighten them out. :-)

 

Now you're talking!


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  Reply # 2219422 16-Apr-2019 20:13
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DaveDog:

I I cannot believe that parents just turn a blind eye to it (like buying R rated video games for children)

 

 

I can.

 

 

Mine are too young to worry about that sort of thing for quite a few more years at least. But children mature differently and at different rates. As a parent, I'm happy to be the one who makes the call on whether they are ready for some experiences based on their general attitude and maturity - be it trying a glass of wine at Christmas dinner, watching Saving Private Ryan on video, or playing Call of Duty.

 

 

As my parents did for me, the parents of friends did for them, and friends of mine who have older chidren are already doing. That might be before the recommended/prescribed age, or after. It all depends on the kid.

 

 

I will take the labels on the products under advisement, but reserve the right to make the final call, based on what I think they are ready for and when. If a cardiganed bureaucrat thinks differently and sticks a red label on a product that I don't agree with, then I'm ultimately prepared to disregard it if I see fit to do so.

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  Reply # 2219425 16-Apr-2019 20:16
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martyyn:

We decided long ago before our kids got anywhere near old enough for technology that we would educate rather than restrict. We have rules about device usage and reinforce them with our kids regularly but we've left it up to them to decide which platforms they use and how they use them.

 

 

 

 

When mine are old enough, that will largely be my approach too. I can't be bothered getting into a technological arms race with my children, especially when I know it's futile and that I will lose. Better to educate them so that they are smart enough to make sensible decisions for themselves by the time they hit their teens.

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  Reply # 2219753 17-Apr-2019 11:07
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Would love to see the government saying fxxx it and just shut down Facebook feed to watch the sxxt storm.

Because otherwise FB can/does happily ignore the harm their accused of....

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