5Rights Foundation Newsletter: October 2023

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Online Safety Bill Passed

The Online Safety Bill was passed on the 20th of September, setting a new bar for children’s safety in the UK and globally. 5Rights, together with a coalition of children’s charities, the bereaved parents for online safety and members of the house of lords campaigned heavily over the last 5 years to strengthen the bill. We welcome its robust requirements for child safety, as well as its innovative provisions for age assurance and access to data. The baton now passes to Ofcom, who will begin their work preparing the codes of practice and guidance to support services who are in scope of the legislation to comply with their duties. 

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Our Other News

Updated Digital Childhood report

We’ve just published an update to our ‘Digital Childhood’ report. This update continues to explore the impact the digital environment has on a child throughout their development, but places it in today’s context.

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Age Appropriate Design Code drives changes, and debate

In force for 2 years in the UK, the influence of the Age Appropriate Design Code has continued to grow, and deliver concrete results for children. In California, a preliminary injunction on the Code is provoking critical debate around the rights of children Vs. those of companies (here is our statement).

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EU Norm for age appropriate design one step closer

Since the adoption of the Digital Services Act, designing services to be safe for children is now a legal requirement across the European Union. On 14 September, the European standardisation organisation CEN-CENELEC published practical guidance for product developers to design digital services suitable for children. This represents an important milestone towards the development of a full European standard that would ensure consistent implementation of legal requirements for age-appropriate design.

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Nordics can pioneer EU law implementation and enforcement

Nordic countries can lead the way in upholding children’s rights in the digital world by strong, coherent and swift implementation of EU and international law. That was the message our Chair Baroness Kidron delivered to the Norwegian Consumers Conference on 26 September, echoing the Nordic Manifesto that 5Rights developed and launched together with civil society organisations from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Finland.

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Research, Reports and Findings

🌍 “Connected, but unfairly treated: Consumer survey results on the fairness of the online environment, a new report by The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC). Click here to read the full report.

🇺🇸 “Constant Companion: A Week in the Life of a Young Person’s Smartphone Use”, a new report by Common Sense. Click here to read the full report.

🇺🇸 “TIKTOK’s TOXIC TRADE: How TikTok promotes dangerous and potentially illegal steroid-like drugs to teens”, a new report by Centre for Countering Digital Hate. Click here to read the full report.

Upcoming Events

🇺🇸23rd October: “It’s more than just screen time: Confronting social media’s harm to youth”, the Washington D.C. launch event of the Project Liberty Safe Tech, Safe Kids Campaign, in partnership with 5Rights. Click here to register.

🇪🇺 15th-16th November: “IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress 2023” in Brussels, with speakers from 5Rights, Elizabeth Denham CBE, Trustee, and Duncan McCann, Head of Accountability. Click here to register.