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30th Mar 2018

ISPCC calls for regulations on social media companies to protect children

Letting companies set their own measures isn't enough, it says.

Anna O'Rourke

“Self-regulation of companies that provide services to children will not be sufficient.”

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) has called on the state to impose regulations on social media companies.

It says that allowing companies like Facebook to set their own measures for child protection isn’t enough to keep kids safe.

“In the ISPCC, we hear first-hand the voices of children who have experienced the adverse side to being online, said the organisation’s CEO Grainia Long. “We know they need support.”

Yesterday, in a report, the government proposed that social media companies would work with a proposed Office of the Digital Safety Commissioner.

“The ISPCC is of the view that this is not sufficiently robust to protect children,” said Ms Long.

ISPCC calls for regulations on social media to protect children

She wants the Digital Safety Commissioner to have the power to set requirements of these companies.

“We urge Government to adopt the recommendations and to require industry to adhere to statutory standards. ”

The organisation also wants the Gardaí to have more power and resources to investigate cyber crime and for

However, the ISPCC said it broadly welcomed the Cyber Security for Children and Young Adults report, which was carried out by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children and Youth Affairs.

It said the Data Protection Bill, published last month, should be brought into law as soon as possible “so that children and young people can continue to enjoy the breadth of opportunities the internet presents in the safest and most supportive environment possible.”