Czech children will use social networks illegally from May 2018

  • Awareness
  • 28/03/2018
  • Czech Safer Internet Centre

As already reported several times on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force in May 2018, presents a number of challenges in relation to Article 8 which contains specific requirements regarding consent for the processing of personal data of children. Here, colleagues from the Czech Safer Internet Centre (SIC) update on the situation in their country.

The Czech Republic will not manage to adopt the GDPR before its application on 25 May 2018. This will have an unexpected impact on certain areas in which the state can set its own rules and exceptions (source: GDPR.cz).

The Safer Internet Centre's Youth Panel initiated a children's appeal addressed to the Czech Government, the Parliament and the Senate (see Saferinternetday.cz). The objective of the call was to speed up the process of approving the Adaptation Act before the efficacy of the GDPR. The problem directly affecting children is the age of parental consent required for children to use information society services. The European regulation sets the age limit at 16 years, while the Czech draft of the Adaptation Act sets it to 13 years, as the country's children are used to. The Czech Republic is not alone in the law not being adopted, but will definitely be one of the last EU countries to do so as the image below giving an overview of the GDPR approval process illustrates (source: MOFO):


The non-approval of the Czech legal norm creates a situation where children aged 13-16 will use information society services without parental consent. However, it is unlikely to bother anyone because, with the adoption of the new norm in the foreseeable future, the situation will change. Children are convinced that, as a result, laws and legal norms can be circumvented, and that they do not need to be respected because they are not taken seriously even by legislators.

In addition, there are, of course, a number of unresolved issues - for example, whether the age of the country of origin of the child or the country where they are presently located will be applicable in terms of parental consent, for example when traveling to other countries? The following map illustrates an overview of the confusion that could be caused by the GDPR (source: www.betterinternetforkids.eu):
 

As can be seen, there is an interesting situation in relation to those countries that border the Czech Republic: Poland has set the age limit to 13 years, Austria 14, and Germany and Slovakia 16. It will also be interesting to see how information service providers, such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, and so on, will consume the goulash!

See the article, Updated mapping of the age of consent in the GDPR (2018), on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) portal.
 


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Children and the GDPR

There has been a great deal of discussion recently about the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and particularly around the impact on children and young people. The Information Commissioner's Office in the UK has recently launched a consultation document which provides more detailed guidance for (UK) organisations who are processing personal data under the GDPR.