Extended parental control against access to porn sites: 3 questions about the future law

The French Parliament debates at the beginning of the year a bill which aims to encourage the use of parental controls on the services and the equipment allowing to go on Internet. Objective: to keep minors away from pornography.

It is from January 12, 2022 that the National Assembly will be examining the Law proposition aimed at generalizing the availability of parental control tools on equipment and services providing Internet access. A text that must be quickly examined: the government has initiated the accelerated procedure, in order to hope for a rapid adoption, in January or February 2022.

Why generalize parental control tools?

The argument put forward is based on a finding put forward in the explanatory memorandum: too many minors have access to pornography on the Internet, sometimes at very low ages. Approximately one in three children has thus been confronted with X content, we read in the bill. And the text parallels the fairly widespread ignorance of parents about what their children are doing online.

Supported by the presidential majority, the bill reflects a request from Emmanuel Macron. The head of state pleaded for a default activation of parental control. However, the obligation as such has not been taken over. The measure is part of a larger movement to further remove minors from pornography, including through blocking.

The law aims to keep minors away from pornography // Source: Melvyn Dadure for Numerama

Will parental controls be mandatory and enabled by default?

The text has a subtlety: it is not a question of activating this parental control by default, but of deploying it everywhere and signaling its availability to people who configure a device or a service for the first time. In short, it is a question of encouraging to use it, without imposing it, but by underlining the interest of this device if there are children who access the net.

The tools would always be activated later, but the deputy who signs the bill considers that these tools are not always easy to access or presented to parents, who may not think of going to see if these parameters exist somewhere in the options. . By showing everyone these settings up front, their use could become more frequent.

Who will have to control the presence of parental control tools?

The proposed law intends to give new prerogatives to the National Frequency Agency, so that it can monitor compliance by the manufacturer and the distributor with the obligations appearing in the text. In the event of an infringement of the law, it is planned to give the ANFR the power of sanction to punish companies that do not play the game.

The ANFR usually takes care of supervising the use of airwaves in France, but also of ensuring that the precautionary thresholds are respected. However, it is also a market surveillance authority for radio equipment and telecommunications terminals. It can thus verify the presence of markings and mandatory regulatory information.


Source: Numerama by www.numerama.com.

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