On Thursday, the head of the Spanish data protection agency announced that they are currently developing technology for age verification to prohibit access by children to inappropriate content online like gambling or pornography sites.
The impact of violent, pornographic, and other harmful contents on youths is growing as smartphones and the digitalization of everything has made it easier to access them.
According to a report by UN’s Save The Children, over 50% of Spanish teenagers watch pornography before reaching the age of 13.
‘Just by checking the age of access to adult content, we can have a profound impact on a person’s development, health, and life,’ said Mar Espana, head of AEPD, the national data protection agency.
Just a few days ago, Britain announced a new age-checking guidance system to stop children from obtaining access to pornography on the internet.
The indecent use of smartphones by Spanish youth was spotlighted when an investigation was launched into the circulation of fake nude pictures of young women generated by an artificial intelligence app used by teenagers.
Education Minister Pilar Alegria on Wednesday proposed the regulation of phone use in schools with teacher supervision at secondary schools for educational purposes and zero use at primary schools.
The implementation of this plan will be debated upon in January in a meeting with regional governments ‒ because they handle their own education policy.
Following AEPD recommendations, the technology is being developed by the Royal Spanish Mint. This technology will enable providers make sure that the user is of the minimum required age to access social media.
Users will require an app, a certificate or QR code that verifies their age using any official ID like driver’s license or passport to access websites without revealing any personal information to third parties.
It is expected that the technology will be ready and available by the middle of 2024.
Espana stated that it will also make it impossible for criminals pretending to be underage to lure children to access the sites as they will be unable to register as minors.
CNMC, Spain’s antitrust watchdog, which oversees the audiovisual market, has asked parties to help implement the new law more efficiently. AEPD will meet with Alphabet, Meta, Tiktok, and other groups to provide an explanation of its plans and get their feedback.
By Marvellous Iwendi