New UK Laws Force Social Media Giants To Make Major Changes For Better Safety And Privacy Of Kids

The latest set of regulations from the UK is causing a stir in the world of social media.

Popular platforms like Meta and TikTok are now being forced to engage in serious safety and privacy changes for the betterment of kids online. This is thanks to a new report rolled out by the House of Lords this week.

The latest report from researchers sheds light on the future of kids in the digital world and how a staggering 128 changes were made in regards to kids’ safety and privacy online. This was during the 2017 to 2024 timeframe.

Common names to have taken part in this initiative included the likes of Google, Meta, Snap, and TikTok. The majority of those changes took place in the year 2021 which is also in coincidence to the time when the AADC law was rolled out in the United Kingdom.

The goal was to embark on regulatory ordeals that were designed to better protect kids from all sorts of harms conducted online.

Meanwhile, the report showed how a serious number of changes were done by the tech giants between the 2017 to 2024 period but were rolled out in the default domain. This happened to be linked to the service design category and gave rise to default protections. For instance, Instagram made changes to the default settings so those below 16 get defaulted to have private accounts automatically when they sign up.

Other than that, the rollout of privacy as well as safety tools happened to be another popular area for change. Tools give rise to new means so that users and their guardians can control how the app’s features function. We saw TikTok release a change that filtered all the comments while Instagram enabled users to witness posts on the feed through chronological means.

Despite all the positive moves made, this report also outlines a dangerous point where apps are relying solely on tools like parental control as a reply to the law in the UK. However, evidence proved that such measures are not very effective and come with poor efficacy.

So depending so much or showing over-reliance on this front is never recommended.

For the future, researchers claim to have rolled out several recommendations that are designed to better child safety laws and make sure kids remain guarded at all times when online.

Some common examples include forcing companies in charge to generate the best practices on this front as a team instead of working alone to please regulators.

Other than that, making it mandatory to access their app’s data for the sake of safety research of minors with respective changes being documented and transparently done.

So what do experts have to say about this? Well, there are not a lot of complaints, that’s for sure. The fact that big social media platforms are making serious changes and ensuring default design features are active to benefit all is certainly worth mentioning.

Moreover, another expert who is the head of PrivacyX Consulting adds that it must be appreciated by all means. This research is major and really brings to light a major shift to in-build safeguards for kids that function by default.

Having settings that make underage accounts private while keeping targeted advertising at bay are just some of the brilliant changes made and they are here to stay. What can possibly be better than that for parents, right?

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