Facebook ‘likes’ could be removed for UK users under safety guidelines

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Facebook ‘likes’ could be removed for UK users under safety guidelines

Facebook and other social media companies may have to turn off the like function for British children under proposed guidelines to ensure their safety online.

Techniques that ‘nudge’ users to follow the tech firms’ desired outcome should not be used to keep under 18s online longer, according to the planned code touted as the first of its kind.

The Information Commissioner’s Office gives examples of these tactics, which can help firms harvest more data, as the ‘likes’ used by Facebook and Instagram as well as Snapchat’s ‘streaks’.

FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook like button is seen in front of the Facebook logo, in this illustration taken October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Facebook’s ‘like’ feature may get shut off for child users (Getty)

The code, which begins its consultation process on Monday and is hailed as an international benchmark, suggests 16 standards that online services must meet.

These include that settings must be set to ‘high privacy’ by default without a compelling reason and that only the minimum amount of personal data should be collected.

Nudge techniques should also not be used to encourage children to turn off privacy techniques or provide unnecessary personal data, the code says.

Undated handout photo issued by the ICO press office, of Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, who is due to present the ICO?s findings of her investigation into the use of data analytics in political campaigns up to date to MPs at a hearing of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday November 6, 2018. ICO found Leave.EU staff used the personal data of customers of an insurance company owned by Arron Banks to unlawfully send them political marketing material, according to a leaked report. See PA story POLITICS Referendum. Photo credit should read: ICO press office/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Elizabeth Denham (PA)

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: ‘This is the connected generation. The internet and all its wonders are hardwired into their everyday lives.

‘We shouldn’t have to prevent our children from being able to use it, but we must demand that they are protected when they do. This code does that.’

The consultation is out until May 31 and the final version is expected to come into effect by 2020.

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