FILE - In this March 29, 2018 file photo, the logo for social media giant Facebook, appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square. Britain’s privacy regulator wants to stop kids from being able to “like” posts on Facebook and other social media sites as part of tough new rules it’s proposing to protect children’s online privacy. Under the draft rules, which were released for consultation on Monday, April 15, 2019 tech companies would not be allowed to use “nudge techniques” that encourage children to keep using a site. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

U.K. proposes banning social media ‘likes’ for children

Tech companies would not be allowed to use ‘nudge techniques’ that encourage children to keep using a site

Britain’s privacy regulator wants to stop kids from being able to “like” posts on Facebook and other social media sites as part of tough new rules it’s proposing to protect children’s online privacy.

Under the draft rules, which were released for consultation on Monday , tech companies would not be allowed to use “nudge techniques” that encourage children to keep using a site.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said examples of “reward loops” that keep people using a site so that more of their personal data can be harvested include “likes” on Facebook and Instagram or “streaks” on Snapchat. A Snapchat streak involves two friends sending each other direct “snaps” on consecutive days.

The code of practice includes 16 standards that must be met by apps, connected toys, social media sites, search engines, news or educational websites and streaming or other online services. It applies to companies that offer services in the U.K., even if they are based outside the country.

The code also calls for “high privacy” settings to be on by default and “robust age-verification mechanisms.” Only the minimum amount of data should be collected and location tracking should be disabled by default.

Violators face punishment including, in serious cases, fines worth 4 per cent of a company’s global revenue, which for the Silicon Valley tech giants would equal billions of dollars.

“This is the connected generation. The internet and all its wonders are hardwired into their everyday lives,” Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement. “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.”

Regulators worldwide are stepping up oversight of internet companies amid growing concern about privacy breaches and other online harm. The European Union introduced sweeping new privacy rules last year while in the U.S., momentum is building for a national privacy law.

READ MORE: Facebook cracks down on groups spreading harmful information

READ MORE: Facebook, Google face widening crackdown over online content

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

United Way celebrates volunteers, contributors in Greater Victoria area

$4.7 million was raised in 2018 thanks to the work of hundreds of people

Police charge 27-year-old man with weapons offences after Langford shooting

Justin Lemmen was arrested shortly after the shooting after crashing into a truck

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

Sidney loses prominent businesswoman to cancer

Sandy Bayton was a risk-taker but always had ‘a sound business plan’

Langford shooting suspect is banned from having firearms: West Shore RCMP

Investigators ask witnesses and occupants of the brown Cadillac Deville involved to come forward

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Island Cup set for East Sooke on May 3-5

Off-road racing event expected to attract over 50 racers

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Experts butt heads in court, hunter loses case for return of ram

Despite expert testimony, judgement says ram probably underage

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Most Read