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Tag ‘data protection’

The EU is not banning under 16-year olds from social media

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

A long negotiated EU data protection reform found itself in the midst of a maelstrom when media suddenly reported that several big online services companies were staging a last-minute lobbying effort to prevent the EU from banning teens from using social media. Attention grabbing headlines included: “Europe’s tech mad teens face tighter parental controls” FT, 14 December; “Is Europe really going to ban teenagers from Facebook and the Internet”, Guardian, 15 December; “Is Europe going to restrict teens from Facebook?” BBC, 15 December; “New EU laws could ban under16s from using Twitter and Facebook without their parents’ permission” Daily Mail, 15 December. The claims were that contrary to international, mainly US, practice the EU would introduce a requirement for social media users under the age of 16 to have formal parental consent.

The current situation across the EU member states is varied – some (like the UK) apply 13 years, some have national laws that require anyone under 16 to demonstrate parental consent, some have no age-limit provisions at all on this.

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Data protection laws to “kill-off” investigative journalism

Friday, October 22nd, 1993

Statement: Investigative journalism could be killed off by new measures from the European
Commission should the new paper on data protection currently being discussed become a Directive.
Source: Broadcast Magazine,  22 October 1993

Response: The Commission has adopted a proposed Directive on Data Protection. This was amended (COM(92)422 final – SYN 287) in the light of suggestions made by the European Parliament. Article 9 (see below) of this Directive requires Member States to prescribe exemptions from the Directive’s provisions (or some of them) so as to reconcile the right to privacy with rules governing the freedom of expression. The precise extent of these exemptions is a matter for each Member State to judge.

The object of the proposal is to harmonise Member States’ data protection laws so as to ensure the free movement of data within the Internal Market. It is currently being discussed by the Council Working Group of Experts so that a common position can be achieved.

Current UK data protection law does not include any specific exemptions for the media, hence the vigorous debate over the necessity of having wide-ranging as opposed to minor exemptions for journalistic data.

Article 9.

Processing of personal data and freedom of expresssion:
“With a view to reconciling the right to privacy with the rules governing freedom of expression, Member States shall prescribe exemptions from this Directive in respect of the processing of peyrsonal data solely for journalistic purposes by the press, the audio-visual media and journalists.”

EC in the UK

Check the EC Representation in the UK website

Please note that all statements in all entries were correct on the date of publication given. However, older archived posts are not systematically updated in the light of later developments, for example changes to EU law.

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