Date
23 January 2018
Under a proposed French law, minors seeking to open social media accounts will need to tick a box to confirm that approval from parents or rightful guardians had been obtained. Photo: Reuters
Under a proposed French law, minors seeking to open social media accounts will need to tick a box to confirm that approval from parents or rightful guardians had been obtained. Photo: Reuters

France plans age-of-consent rule for Facebook users

France has unveiled draft legislation that will require all French children under the age of 16 to seek parental approval to open an account on Facebook or any other social media network.

“Joining Facebook will involve parental authorization for minors aged under 16,” Reuters quoted French Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet as saying on Wednesday.

The requirement is part of a bill that seeks to adapt data privacy regulations and improve access to the information internet firms gather, store and in many cases sell to other firms about people’s online activity, the report said.

Belloubet told reporters that signing up to join a social network would involve ticking a box to confirm that approval from parents or rightful guardians had been obtained, and that the box-tick amounted to a declaration governed by law.

The data privacy bill, which was cleared at a weekly cabinet meeting, now goes to parliament for approval before it can become law.

It aims to ensure easier access for users to all the data companies collect so they can more easily seek to have certain details amended or deleted.

Separately, French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said this week that mobile phones would be banned in schools from the start of the next school year.

Use of mobile phones is already forbidden in classrooms, so the ban would likely cover their use during breaks and at lunchtime.

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RC

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