About FOSI
Press Releases
Dec. 15, 2015
Statement of Family Online Safety Institute in Response to Proposed Increase in Age of Digital Consent

In response to the imminent resolution of the discussions around raising the age of digital consent to 16 in Europe, we would like to put forth the main reasons that we oppose the change.

Firstly, social media provides an established and proven source of support and information for young people who may not otherwise be able to access it. This is particularly important when considering the accessibility of critical services including guidance from physical and mental health support organisations.

The proposals do not take into account the reality of millions of children that have already become active users of these services. The feasibility of suspending their accounts and banning them from the platforms will be nearly impossible to implement. Furthermore, vital protections offered to younger users of social media sites may be invalidated by causing children to lie about their true age.

Restricting teens’ use of social media in the absence of parental consent will adversely affect the use of these tools in the area of education, which has expanded and proved incredibly beneficial, both within classrooms and independently.

It is our position that the best way to approach online child protection is by facilitating as much early digital literacy as possible, coupled with open communications as well as parental and privacy controls. 

Other Press Releases

 

May 8, 2019

Family Online Safety Institute Releases New Video Series and Digital Parenting Toolkit

Washington -- Today, the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) launched the newest element of its Good Digital Parenting initiative to help parents foster constructive conversations with their children around technology.

April 3, 2019

Verizon announces new mobile plan designed for children

Verizon has unveiled a new smartphone plan designed for kids. Starting Thursday, consumers can sign up for the carrier’s “Just Kids” plan, which offers 5GB of LTE data, unlimited ...