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Can GDPR help with parents concerns when children use online social media sites?

Jul 11 - Brian Siney

Featured in JEP’s Expert Panel – 11th July 2018


An important element of safety and security is for parents and children (in particular) to be able to read and understand what the terms and conditions are when using an online social site. The expectation of the new data protection law is that where a social media site is aimed at or can be used by a child (under 13 only with parental consent and over 13 they can consent themselves), it should be very clear, and easily understood by a child, what data is collected, shared, stored and how a child can delete their account and data.

A recent BBC news article “Social site terms tougher than Dickens” [dated 6/7/18] is very interesting and explains just how difficult it is to read and understand the popular social sites’ policies – they grade the various platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc..) according to the education level required to understand the text. It seems that there is still a lot of work to be done by these companies to meet the requirements (and spirit) of the new GDPR law. It will be interesting to see how the new law will take effect in policing such standards.

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