The requirement for parental consent to child profiling by website administrators

FREE is involved pro publico bono in legislation processes regarding regulation of data collection by the website administrators with the purpose of profiling and marketing to children under 16 years of age. On December 19th 2016 we took part in an expert debate in Ministry of Digital Affairs, where we presented our stance on the issue of whether national regulations should, and to what extent, specify article 8 of the General Data Protection Regulation. Said provision requires parental consent to processing personal data of minors under 16, when there is lack of on-line contract with the child, but service administrator is profiling and collecting data about child’s activity on the website. EU member states are allowed to lower this age limit to 13. FREE is proposing to apply age requirement set out in the Regulation, in order to maintain a common standard of child protection in the EU, as well as facilitate business in this regard, unless other member states will eventually lower this limit. Only then should we act accordingly.

Main points of the presentation:

  • New national provisions should not, at least at this point, change the rules set out in article 8 of the General Data Protection Regulation.
  • There are some valid points in proposition of lowering age threshold to 13, but until other member states decide to use this option, it is better to maintain a common EU standard.
  • On the other hand, amendments should be applied to the Polish Act of Rendering Electronic Services by introducing proper definition of information society service, in order to ensure its compliance with EU legislation as well as consistent application of new Regulation.