The Children’s Commissioner reacted to the social media firms who claim that they are unable to set up age verification systems for the protection of minors but they have the technology to implement other innovative things.
Anne Longfield mentioned that it is unacceptable and disappointing to be heard from tech giants that they are unable to find a way to check age of users and create effective systems about it. “Can it really be the case that they can create driverless cars, see inside black holes and
programmer computers to beat the best human players of complex games like Go, but not find ways of making digital platforms fit for purpose for children? Of course not. And for the record, I’ve been reassured that it is all very possible”, she wrote in an article published on the Telegraph website.
She also supplements that social media sites and especially, Facebook and Instagram, which are the most popular, should necessarily prohibit access to people under the age of 13, otherwise they would have to be fined. Specifically, according to the age-appropriate code, all these companies have to introduce affective age validation systems, while those who do not follow the relevant rule, will face fines up to 4 per cent of global turnover.
“This code could be the first step in redressing the balance” said Ms Longfield and continued: “Of course, it would be surprising if there was not a flurry of pushback from the tech companies, as so often happens when industry is asked to change its ways”. However, she insists that companies must implement the age verification technology now, as it will be late if they wait for legislation to be adopted by the Government.