EU approves new strategy to protect children online
In May, the European Commission approved a new strategy for an internet better suited to children. The aim is to improve digital services for children and ensure their protection online.
No advertising targeting minors
Most children use their smartphone every day, almost twice as much as ten years ago. And they're doing so at a much younger age than before. However, the opportunities for online interaction that internet-connected devices offer also come with risks, such as exposure to wrong information, cyberbullying or illegal content. Children need to be protected from all these things.
The new strategy should ensure that children have the same rights online and offline. At the same time, it should support their autonomy on the internet as well as their digital skills. The strategy was approved as part of a recent provisional political agreement on legislation for digital services. This agreement also prohibits online platforms from showing advertising targeting minors.
Online learning modules
The Commission will also demand that a European standard for online age verification is established by 2024. To this end, the future 'European Digital Identity wallet' could be used to verify the age of children. In addition, a single European number, 116 111, should be introduced by 2023 to offer help to victims of cyberbullying.
In terms of education, the European Commission plans to organise campaigns for children, teachers and parents. As part of this, teaching modules for teachers are already available via the betterinternetforkids.eu portal.