Greece proposes age of digital consent at 15 years old

  • Awareness
  • 15/02/2018
  • Greek Safer internet Centre

Following Safer Internet Day 2018, we've heard from a number of SID Committees on how they marked the day. In Greece, Prof. Fereniki Panagopoulou made an announcement at the main event of Greek Safer Internet Centre for Safer Internet Day 2018 concerning the upcoming GDPR legislation.

The decision of the responsible Committee on the access of children under the age of 15 to social media only with parental consent was announced at the main event of the Greek Safer Internet Center on the occasion of the 2018 edition of Safer Internet Day by the Legal Auditor of the Hellenic Data Protection Authority, Fereniki Panagopoulou. Mrs. Panagopoulou stressed that the biggest challenge was to find technological verification mechanisms in order to ensure that parents truly give their consent. She equally said that luckily, social media companies are responsible to check their users' age or face extremely high fines. The study issued by the Committee suggests even the introduction of parental responsibility in case of the exposure of a child to risky online content.

One legitimate concern raised by the Legal Auditor of the Data Protection Authority is that strengthened protection should be applied not only to children, but to everyone, since there are digitally illiterate adults who are unaqare of online risks. "There are many vulnerable people on the internet, not just children, due to the poor information and non-existent digital literacy," Mrs. Panagopoulou highlighted.

Particular reference has also been made to protesting voices concerning the feasability, desirability and also necessity to limit children's rights to participate freely in the digital era. "Many, especially from North America have protested against these measures, seen as infringing on the freedom of speech. Calmer European voices express concern about the interference with children's right to self-determination, and insist that a strict interpretation of the provision raises strong constitutional issues. That is why great emphasis must be placed on the perceptual ability of children, "concluded Mrs Panagopoulou.

"Create, connect and share respect. A better internet starts with you!" was the main message of this year's Safer Internet Day which was celebrated for the 15th year in a row in over 140 countries around the world. This year, the Greek Safer Internet Centre organized a main event in the Amphitheater of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Education.  Authorities, institutions, parents, educators and other stakeholders participated in the event and showed great interest in the topics of online risks, as well as the new GDPR legislation. At the same time, with activities and related material provided by the Greek Safer Internet Center, pupils from all educational levels and from all over the country participated in the celebration sending a loud message about the importance of a safer and better internet.

To find out more about the Greek Safer Internet Centre's SID 2018 activities, visit the website. 

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