According to recent reports Teens under the age of 16 could be restricted from using social media sites such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and E-mail. Teenagers under the age of 16 could be banned from Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and email if without parental permission, due to last-minute changes to EU laws.
The European Union is close to forcing new regulations that would raise the age of consent for websites to use personal data from 13 to 16.
Officials quietly amended proposed data protection laws last week to increase the age and put the EU out of step with rules in other parts of the world.
The new law would force millions of teenagers under 16 to seek permission from parents whenever signing up to a social media account, downloading an app or even using search engines.
If passed, this law could cause a major headache for social media companies. Almost most social media services, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Google, currently have a minimum age of 13, in compliance with European and American laws.
Failing to comply with the new legislation could mean extreme fines of up to 4pc of a company’s turnover – tens of millions of pounds for the biggest internet firms.
The Diana Award Youth Board, which aims to protect children from bullying, attacked the move.
“This higher age threshold may incentivise children between the ages of 13 and 15 to lie about their age. Children aged 13 and above have long accessed online services; an artificial and sudden change to this threshold will likely result in many children between the ages of 13 and 15 lying about their ages in order to continue accessing online services – rather than asking their parents to consent,” .
“This development would make it far more difficult for online services to offer children age-appropriate guidance and tools to ensure a safe and privacy-protective experience online.”