5Rights YouGov poll: Parents' views on internet and child data protection regulation

New polling commissioned by 5Rights Foundation has found that parents overwhelmingly support the need for internet companies to be regulated in order to protect children and their personal data online.

The polling, conducted by YouGov, supports the Information Commissioner’s efforts to introduce a new code of practice to regulate the way online services’ handle children’s data (the Age Appropriate Design Code, also known as the Kid’s Code).

The poll, which surveyed parents in Britain with children under the age of 18, found that:

  • 90% of parents think it is important that internet companies are required to follow rules to protect children under 18 online.
     
  • 82% of parents think internet companies should be held accountable in law for how well they uphold their own community guidelines, terms and conditions and privacy notices.
     
  • 76% of parents think that internet companies should establish the ages of the people who use their online services, to enable child specific protections to be put in place. Just 16% disagree.
     
  • 78% of parents think that regulation on the use of children’s data should apply to all online services likely to be accessed by children, rather than just online services that are targeted at children specifically. 
     
  • 67% of parents think an official regulator or government should decide the rules for how internet companies should use children’s personal data. Just 15% thought this should be left to the internet companies themselves.

5Rights Foundation commented:

“This poll demonstrates that most parents are worried about the impact of technology and need far greater support from the Government and tech sector. The Information Commissioner’s code will provide that support. In every other environment and every other business sector, the welfare of children is not optional, so it must be the case that children’s needs are catered for in the digital environment too. We hope that both the UK Government and companies to which the code applies will fulfil their duty to children and ensure that parents and their children can access online services creatively, knowledgeably, and fearlessly.”

See the results of the poll in full, here.

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