Children are being made “collateral damage” by the tech industry, ministers have been told, as peers supported proposals to boost online age checks. Baroness Kidron issued the warning as she tabled measures requiring Ofcom to produce a code of conduct that sets out minimum standards for any age assurance system, including that privacy is preserved.

Several peers highlighted concerns that under-13s are on social media platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, despite being under the minimum age required for signing up.

Age assurance systems can estimate or verify the age or age range of a user, and ensure they only access content that is suitable for them.

I was with a child at the very moment it dawned on her she had been groomed… Her spirit shattered in front of me

Lady Kidron’s Age Assurance (Minimum Standards) Bill received an unopposed second reading but is unlikely to become law due to a lack of Government support.

Culture minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay claimed the forthcoming Online Safety Bill will aim to ensure children are provided with “age-appropriate environments” and offered to hold further talks with the peer.

Lady Kidron, who chairs the children’s safety group the 5Rights Foundation, replied: “This is not good enough.”

Earlier, independent crossbench peer Lady Kidron said: “My work means that day in, day out I see children being made collateral damage of tech industry norms.

“During the first lockdown I was asked to visit a distraught headteacher whose pupil had received and shared a video of child sexual abuse so grotesque that I cannot describe it here.

“By the time we sat helplessly crying in the freezing playground the video had been shared across London and was making its way up north.

“It was a primary school. The children involved not even 10.

Read the full article from the Evening Standard below:

Source: Peers back efforts to boost online age checks amid child safety fears

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By / Published On: November 20th, 2021 / Tags: , , / Categories: News, Online Safety, Uncategorized /

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