Social networks: after the National embly, the Senate votes in favor of the numerical majority at 15

After the National embly, the Senate adopted on Tuesday at first reading the obligation for social networks like TikTok or Snapchat to verify the age of their users and the consent of parents for the registration of children under 15. years. The government having initiated the accelerated procedure on this text, deputies and senators will now try to agree on a common version.

The bill, brought by the head of the Horizons deputies Laurent Marcangeli, establishes the obligation for social networks “to put in place a technical solution for verifying the age of end users and the consent of holders of parental authority. for children under 15, a “solution” which must be certified by the authorities. In the event of a breach, a fine may be imposed on the company, up to 1% of its worldwide turnover.

This age of 15 corresponds to the entrance to high school and the age at which a minor can consent, alone, to the processing of his personal data.

Control usage time

On the initiative of the rapporteur Alexandra Borchio Fontimp (LR), the senators specified that the authorization of a single holder of parental authority will be necessary. The text also allows holders of parental authority to request the suspension of the account of a child under 15 years of age.

The senators also voted in favor of a socialist amendment requiring social networks to activate a device to control the time of use when registering a minor.

They also deleted the provision relating to “labeled” networks to which children under 13 could have had access with the agreement of the parents, introduced in the embly despite the unfavorable opinion of the government, and excluded from the scope of the text “the non-profit online encyclopedias”, such as Wikipedia, and “educational and scientific directories”.

General awareness

For Alexandra Borchio Fontimp, this text “is an essential safeguard against the growing precocity of digital puberty and the power of the tools made available to young people”. It “is part of a general and international awareness of the danger that social networks can represent, especially for the youngest”, supported the centrist Annick Billon.

Several senators nevertheless questioned the effective implementation of its provisions. The first registration to a social network would occur on average around 8 and a half years and more than a quarter of 7-10 year olds regularly visit social networks, according to the National Commission for Computing and Liberties (Cnil).

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