The European Parliament could decide that children under 16 can only use social media with their parents’ consent

As it continues to work on the draft European Data Protection Regulation, the European Parliament Committee on civil liberties and home affairs is considering an amendament that reads: ‘The processing of personal data of a child below the age of 16 years shall only be lawful if and to the extent that such consent is given or authorised by the holder of parental responsibility over the child.’ This could mean that online companies such as social media networks would have to make sure that children below 16 can only use their services with their parents’ consent. There are, however, child safety experts who outline the fact that such a measure risks of making children even more vulnerable, while noting that changing the age limit ‘would deprive young people of educational and social opportunities in a number of ways, yet would provide no more (and likely even less) protection’. According to BBC, the Committee is set to discuss and decide on the amendment this week.