Facebook ‘likes’ may get shut down for British children under safety plans
Facebook and other social media companies may have to turn off the like function for British children under proposed guidelines to ensure their safety online.
Techniques that “nudge” users to follow the tech firms’ desired outcome should not be used to keep under 18s online longer, according to the planned code touted as the first of its kind.
The Information Commissioner’s Office gives examples of these tactics, which can help firms harvest more data, as the “likes” used by Facebook and Instagram as well as Snapchat’s “streaks”.
The code, which begins its consultation process on Monday and is hailed as an international benchmark, suggests 16 standards that online services must meet.
These include that settings must be set to “high privacy” by default without a compelling reason and that only the minimum amount of personal data should be collected.
Nudge techniques should also not be used to encourage children to turn off privacy techniques or provide unnecessary personal data, the code says.
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “This is the connected generation. The internet and all its wonders are hardwired into their everyday lives.
“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.”
The consultation is out until May 31 and the final version is expected to come into effect by 2020.