On May 11, 2022, the European Commission announced a new European strategy “Better Internet for Kids”, ensuring safety and greater access for children to the Internet. Nowadays, children use technology as often as adults, and they stary using it in much younger age than before. There is twice as much minors using the internet as it was in 2010. The strategy is based on 3 pillars:
The first on is safe digital experiences, relying on the protection of children from illegal content and practices, and improving their well-being by providing an age-appropriate online environment. The Commission plans to introduce appropriate age verification standards and adapt websites to users, depending on the age of user.
Another pillar is to increase young people’s awareness of the digital world, which will allow them to extend their skills in the proper use of the Internet. Children should be able to make conscious online decisions and express themselves responsibly, with a respect to environment standards. There are being designed information campaigns for students, teachers and parents to help them respond to situations where children’s interests may be at risk.
The third pillar is to ensure the active participation of children in the life of the digital society by implementing more activities that guarantee their development and participation. The strategy provides mobilization of young people through the actions such as “Children teaching other children”, which help younger people to learn about the risks and opportunities offered by the Internet in an accessible way.
The European Commission plans periodic evaluations of the strategy’s operation and encourages Member States to cooperate in its scope. The strategy was adopted along with a proposal for new legislation to protect children against sexual abuse and an agreement on the framework of the Digital Services Act, containing e.g. prohibition of displaying targeted advertising based on profiling to minors.