According to a code of practice drafted by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK, social networks may have to prevent users under the age of 18 from liking posts in order to protect their safety.
A rule stated in the code would prevent tech companies from using “nudge” techniques.
Nudge techniques is defined as something that encourages young people to provide unnecessary personal data, weaken or turn off their privacy protections, or extend their use.
This ultimately means that social networks would have to remove likes for young people since data is being collected whenever someone clicks the like button.
Based on these rules, this will affect even Snapchat’s streaks since users are encouraged to send snaps back and forth daily.
The code of practice is designed around having companies collect the minimum amount of data on users.
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement:
“This is the connected generation. The internet and all its wonders are hardwired into their everyday lives. We shouldn’t have to prevent our children from being able to use it, but we must demand that they are protected when they do. This code does that.”
This proposal is a first of its kind, and is currently out for consultation until May 31. Feedback from members and experts of the public are welcome and have a say as to whether this code is approved.
If and when the code is approved, the rules would apply to companies that offer services in the UK, even if they’re based elsewhere in the world.
Companies that violate the code could face fines up to 4% of their global revenue.
If the code is approved, the final version is expected to come into effect in 2020.