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

Unsightly premises fees added to County of Wetaskiwin tax bill

Property owner cannot be located, so contractor cleaned yard

Alberta RCMP reminds Albertans how to be ‘egg-stra’ safe this Easter

Put away phone while driving, plan for a designated driver

Wetaskiwin’s Leaders of Tomorrow honoured Apr. 8

Four youth impress the Wetaskiwin community

UPDATED Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin winner Wilson says Alberta wanted change

UPDATED Both Rick Wilson and Mark Smith had no trouble Apr. 16 with opposing parties

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

Person airlifted to hospital after avalanche in Yoho National Park has died

The man was among a party of three involved in an avalanche Saturday afternoon

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Most Read