France move to require parental permission for child Facebook users

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The French government is to submit to parliament draft legislation on use of the internet which includes the rquirement of parental permission for under-16-year-olds to operate an account on social media including Facebook.

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Children under the age of 16 in France will have to seek parental approval to open an account on Facebook or any other social network, under a new draft bill put forward by the government, reports The Independent.

The legislation, which was approved by the French cabinet but will now have to be approved by parliament, seeks to adapt dated privacy regulations.

The move also aims to improve access to the information internet companies gather, store, and in many cases sell to other firms about people's online activities.

“Joining Facebook will involve parental authorisation for minors aged under 16,” justice minister Nicole Belloubet said, Reuters reported.

Ms Belloubet said under-16s would have to tick a box to confirm approval from a parent or guardian had been obtained and the box-tick amounted to a declaration governed by law.

Critics have questioned the practicality of the new rule, as social media sites will have to verify the age of users and underage children may still tick the box to create an account.

Facebook requires users to be at least 13 before they can create an account, but many younger children declare they are older and sign up.

Read more of this report from The Independent.

 

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