Social media firms face fines of up to £18m if they disturb children with notifications and alerts at night or during the school day under plans being considered by the information commissioner. Elizabeth Denham, the commissioner, is drawing up a new statutory code that will target strategies used by the firms to keep children online such as the timing of notifications and auto-play. Among the proposals is a ban on the social media giants posting messages, notifications or any alerts that disturb children’s sleep at night or distracts them during the school day. The firms could also be forced to set auto-play, notifications, buzzes, read receipts and non-specific alerts to “off” by default every time a child logged on so they would have to be reset them to prevent them becoming addicted to the technology. The plans have been submitted by 5Rights, a charity founded by filmmaker Baroness Kidron, which has been working with the commissioner and was instrumental in securing the legislation for the new code to prevent children’s personal data being exploited by the social media firms. There could also be automatic timeouts to limit children’s use of social media, save buttons so they are not forced to… Read full this story
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