This is a drastic move by the EU in the context that many countries are trying to prevent young people from using smartphones and accessing too much internet.
Around the world, many parents feel the headache of managing their smartphone usage after seeing their children’s puzzled eyes, curt replies and almost always sloppy, phone-glued faces.
Target Online Platforms
According to Politico, the new law will require social networks like TikTok, Facebook and YouTube to make their systems public to the EU and demonstrate that they “do their best efforts to ensure their products are safe for children”. are doing”.
Failure to comply can result in fines of up to 6% of annual global revenue.
The new EU regulation will for the first time give researchers access to data that was previously “buried” inside companies’ servers.
Facing mounting pressure over the past few years, platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok have taken a number of measures to reassure public opinion, including allowing parents to control their children’s online activities Is.
Starting in 2021, YouTube and Instagram will send notifications to youths to remind them that they need to take a break after a certain period of time using the app. In March, TikTok announced that children would need to enter a password after one hour of access to continue watching videos.
However, DSA goes further than that. These major platforms must submit to the European Commission – the body that oversees the DSA Act – an annual assessment of the impact of their design, algorithms, advertising content and terms of service on a range of services. Social issues such as protecting minors and mental health.
They then have to propose and implement specific measures under the supervision of an inspection company, the European Commission and authorized researchers.
These measures could include changing the algorithm to no longer recommend diet videos to girls, or turning off automatic video playback so kids are no longer glued to the screen. Social networks will also be banned from tracking children’s online activity for personalized ads.
The European Union is working with technology companies, industry associations and children’s groups on rules to design social networking sites in a way that protects minors. By 2024, the EC will provide a clear list of measures it wants major social networks to comply with.
many countries take action
Social networks have always wanted to attract large numbers of users to join and retain them for as long as possible in order to make “terrific” profits from advertising. However, this leads to negative consequences such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem in physical appearance, and loss of concentration.
Large-scale mental health surveys in the US have shown that there has been a significant increase in poor mental health among adolescents over the past 15 years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of them have had suicidal thoughts, are depressed or have difficulty sleeping.
Luca Braghieri, associate professor of economics at Bocconi University (Italy), said he initially thought concerns about Facebook were exaggerated, but changed his mind after starting the research.
Mr Braghieri and his colleagues looked at mental health surveys at various US universities from 2004 to 2006 (the period when Facebook was first used in the US), and found that students in schools where Facebook was used There was a comparatively unprecedented decline in the mental health of For those schools that have not done so.
Concerns about the consequences of young people misusing smartphones and the internet have prompted countries such as China, France or the US state of Utah to take measures to prevent this.
Recently, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has proposed to limit the use time of smartphone by minors, people under 8 can only use it for 40 minutes/day, 8-16 1 year olds 1 hour/day, and 2 hours/day for 16-17 year olds.
The US state of Utah has implemented a digital curfew, requiring parental consent to use social networks. And France has ordered device makers to integrate parental control systems.