5Rights Foundation Newsletter: January 2024

Sign up to our mailing list | Click here to see the newsletter

US State legislators gear up for new push for Age Appropriate Design Codes

Legislators in Maryland, Minnesota and New Mexico are expected over the coming weeks to begin work anew on legislation for children’s data protection modelled on the pioneering California Age Appropriate Design Code, passed in 2022 with 5Rights’ support. As tech companies challenge the Code in court, an increasing number and array of supporters take a stand in defence of American children.

Read more

European Parliament calls for end to addictive design; for services to be safe by design for children

5Rights Foundation welcomes the European Parliament Report on Addictive Design. Drawing on 5Rights insights, the report calls on the Commission to address the risks and impacts of persuasive and addictive design of online products and services, especially for children. Read how our pioneering research is helping to shape the debate at an EU level, feeding into an overhaul of consumer law.

Read more

5Rights and Bereaved Families call for Government to keep its promises

Last month, the Bereaved Families for Online Safety were devastated to learn, as were we, of government plans to walk back on promises to allow coroners access to data from tech companies in the case of the death of a child. Our swift action, confronting the government with a public letter from the families to the PM and relevant Secretaries of State, brought much needed publicity to the matter. Following media coverage, including the BBC, Sky and Talk TV, the government publicly recognised the need to give families the answers they require and to ensure all relevant cases can be investigated.

Read more

The Online Safety Act bolsters the legal framework in the UK requiring tech companies to proactively consider children when designing online products and services. But, in view of the established Age Appropriate Design Code, what kind of further adjustments will need to be made by industry? Read our new legal analysis, carried out by legal experts Fieldfisher, which considers the UK’s new regulatory ecosystem for children online and what additional responsibilities tech companies now have to keep children safe from harm.

Read more

Research, Reports, and Findings

🗺️ “Do parental control tools fulfil family expectations for child protection? A rapid evidence review of the contexts and outcomes of use” This academic article unearths the factors that drive parental controls Mariya Stoilova, Monica Bulger, and Sonia Livingstone

🇪🇺 “The Amazing Library: An analysis of Amazon’s Bookstore algorithms within the DSA Framework” follows the user journeys of Amazon’s Bookstore, to then analyse how algorithmic curation impacts misinformation dissemination CheckFirst and AI Forensics

🇺🇸 “US Teens, Social Media and Technology 2023” Pew Research Center covers the latest trends in the digital platforms and services being used by US teens Monica Andersen, Michelle Faverio, and Jeffrey Gottfried

🇬🇧 “Prototyping User Empowerment” explores healthy versions of recommender systems that centre around user experience and interaction design choices Panoptykon Foundation and People vs Big Tech

🇪🇺 “Online Content Moderation: Current challenges in detecting hate speech” A report that looks at how Telegram, X, Reddit and YouTube have managed ‘online hate’ after the implementation of content moderation controls European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

🇺🇸 “Social media platforms generate billions of dollars in revenue from U.S. youth: Findings from a simulated revenue model” uncovers the advertising revenue generated from the online activity of children Amanda Raffoul, Zachary J. Ward, Monique Santoso, Jill R. Kavanaugh, and S. Bryn Austin

🇬🇧 “How are TikTok, Snap and Twitch protecting children from harmful videos?” This new report takes stock on the measures taken by video-sharing platforms in protecting children Ofcom

🇬🇧 “Privacy and Protection: A children’s rights approach to encryption” explores the nuances of child rights and encryption Child Rights International Network and defenddigitalme 2023

Upcoming Events

*️⃣ Ctrl + Rights Conference
Tuesday, 6th February - Stockholm, Sweden.

5Rights is supporting the Swedish Prince Couple’s Foundation “Ctrl + Rights Conference” on advancing children’s rights in a digital future. Prins Carl Philips and Prinsessan Sofias Stiftelse will bring together policy-makers, civil society, academics and industry to discuss how safety by design approaches and the DSA can foster children’s rights online.

*️⃣ Making the DSA work for children
Wednesday, 14th February
- Brussels, Belgium. Room 5G1 of the Altiero Spinelli building. 14:30 (CET).

5Rights and the European Parliament’s Children’s Rights Intergroup are hosting a panel discussion on “Making the DSA work for children”. On the eve of the full application of the Digital Services Act for all platforms, experts and policy-makers will discuss key principles and tools for the EU and national enforcers to apply provisions regarding children.

🔔 Workshop on Effective Engagement with Tech Companies
Tuesday, 30th January
- Online. 17:00 (UTC). Register here

Business for Social Responsibility is running a workshop that brings together “a group of civil society peers across the digital rights / responsible tech space for a workshop… on how to effectively engage with tech companies.”

🔔 Next steps for online safety policy and practice in the UK
Thursday, 8th February - Online. 9:00 to 13:00 (UTC). Register here

This conference examines the next steps for online safety policy and implementation in the UK, with keynote speakers including Jessica Smith, Principal of Online Safety at Ofcom; and Lorin LaFave, Founder of The Breck Foundation.