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

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read