Rémi Jacob, with AFP 10:45 am, June 30, 2023, modified at 10:46 am, June 30, 2023No more social networks without parental consent: Parliament on Thursday adopted the obligation for platforms like TikTok, Snapchat or Instagram to verify the age of their users and the consent of parents when they are under 15.
No more social networks without parental consent: Parliament on Thursday adopted the obligation for platforms like TikTok, Snapchat or Instagram to verify the age of their users and the consent of parents when they are under 15.
The text should apply as soon as possible
After the final green light from the National Assembly the day before, the bill obtained Thursday that of the Senate, also unanimous. It is worth final adoption of the text carried by Laurent Marcangeli, boss of the deputies Horizons (presidential camp), examined in a consensual climate in both chambers.
Its date of entry into force will be set by decree, following an opinion to be issued by the European Commission on its compliance with EU law. Social networks will then have one year to comply with their obligations for new registrations.
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"Rest assured that we will ensure that this text can be applied as soon as possible," promised Jean-Noël Barrot, the minister in charge of the Digital Transition, welcoming a measure "that will make history". From pornography to cyberbullying, unattainable beauty standards or addictive methods to capture attention: parliamentarians have outlined the risks that must be protected for young people.
The numerical majority of 15 years to which the bill refers was introduced in France in 2018 under European legislation, which left the possibility of setting it between 13 and 16 years. But this threshold relates more broadly to the age under which parental consent is required for a minor's personal data to be processed. Above all, it is not really applied and has not had an impact on children's access to social networks.
Sanctions provided for
In theory, social networks are not open to children under 13. But the first registration would occur on average around eight and a half years, and more than half of 10-14 year olds are present, according to data from the National Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL).
Faced with this situation, the adopted text establishes an obligation for social networks to verify the age of users and to obtain "the authorization of one of the holders of parental authority" for children under 15 years of age. They will have to use "technical solutions in accordance with a reference system" developed by the Regulatory Authority for Audiovisual and Digital Communication (Arcom).
The absence to date of a system that met with unanimity was stressed several times during the debates, but the parliamentarians considered that this should not prevent them from sending a strong signal. Parental consent will also have to be obtained for accounts already held by people under 15 years of age, an obligation that will come into force two years after that of the law. In case of breach, social networks will be subject to a penalty, with a fine of up to 1% of the company's global turnover.