16 April 2019, 9:45 am

Under-18s face ‘like’ and ‘streaks’ limits on social media

Facebook and Instagram face limits on letting under-18s “like” posts on their platforms while Snapchat could be prevented from allowing the age group to build up “streaks”, under new rules proposed by the UK’s data watchdog.
It believes the tools encourage users to share more personal data and spend more time on apps than desired.
Likes help build up profiles of users’ interests while streaks encourage them to send photos and videos daily.
The proposal is part of a 16-rule code.
Speaking to the BBC’s World At One , the Information Commissioner’s Office suggested that social media networks could avoid an outright ban on “likes” if they stopped collecting personal data when children engaged with them.
To ensure its success, the ICO added that online services must also adopt “robust” age-verification systems.
Location tracking
In addition to calling for restrictions on children being exposed to so-called “nudge techniques”, the ICO advocates internet firms make the following changes among others for their younger members:
 make privacy settings “high” by default
 switch location-tracking off by default after each session and make it obvious when it had been activated
 give children choices over which elements of the service they want to activate and then collect and retain the minimum amount of personal data
 provide “bite-sized” explanations in clear language about how users’ personal data is used
 make it clear if parental controls, such as activity-tracking, are being used
BBC