Social networks: the Senate in turn votes on the obligation of parental consent for children under 15

After The national emblythe Senate adopted Tuesday in first reading, with modifications, the obligation for social networks like TikTok or Snapchat to verify the age of their users and parental consent for the registration of children under 15 years old. 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.

This age corresponds to entering high school and the age at which a minor can consent alone to the processing of his personal data, recalls the rapporteur Alexandra Borchio-Fontimp (LR). In the event of a breach, a fine may be imposed on the company, up to 1% of its worldwide turnover.

A device to control the time of use

At the initiative of the rapporteur, 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 removed the provision relating to “labeled” networks to which children under 13 could have access with the agreement of the parents, introduced in the embly despite the unfavorable opinion of the government.

In the hemicycle, the Senate ped a socialist amendment requiring networks to activate a device to control usage time when registering a minor. The Senate also explicitly excluded from the scope of the bill “non-profit online encyclopedias”, such as Wikipedia, and “educational and scientific directories”.

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). The Senate has set up a commission of inquiry, at the request of the group Les Indépendants, on the social network TikTok, the conclusions of which should be made public by the end of the parliamentary session.

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