Safer Internet Day: the CNIL and the Educnum Collective of actors work together to support parents in their children’s digital education

04 février 2022

On 8 February 2022, Safer Internet Day, the CNIL will remind that parents have a key role to play in the digital education of their children. To do so, they must be able to help them protect their rights.

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What is the Safer Internet Day about?

 

Safer Internet Day is the day across the globe for a safer and better internet for young people, their families, educators and child care services.

This special day is an opportunity to raise young people’s awareness about safe and responsible digital use and to help adults support them in their digital life.

It will take place on 8 February 2022 on the theme "Children connected, all concerned!".

 

Actions taken by the CNIL to promote the protection of children's rights

 

Recommendations on children's rights in the digital environment

The CNIL published 8 recommendations to enhance the protection of children online.

In its recommendation 3 entitled "Supporting parents in the digital education of their children", it recalls that recognising that children have a certain degree of digital autonomy does not remove the holders of parental rights from the picture.

While parents are responsible for protecting their children from the risks to which they might be exposed online, they are also expected to empower them towards a progressive autonomy, based on their level of maturity.

However, parents are not well informed about the devices for securing their children's rights online. In a survey conducted by the Union of National Associations of Families (UNAF) in January 2021, 57% of parents admitted that they do not use any parental control tools.

Although parental controls can help protect their children's online lives, they can also ask for a significant amount of personal data about the child, such as their geolocation.

This is precisely the purpose of recommendation 5: “Promote parental controls that respect the child's privacy and best interests”, which states that these tools must comply with the data protection rules and in particular with:

  • the principle of proportionality taking into account the child's interests, age and level of maturity, and avoiding the use of intrusive features such as constant tracking;
  • the principle of transparency towards the child by clearly explaining which parental controls are being used;
  • the principle of security of the child's data, in order to ensure that third parties do not have access to information about the child (e.g. the child's geolocation data).

In order to support parents in their children's responsible digital use, the CNIL has been conducting awareness-raising activities for several years with the Educnum collective of actors, by providing them with help and guidance.  In particular, in 2021, the CNIL collaborated with Arcom (the former CSA - High Audio-Visual Council and the Hadopi Agency) and the French Defender of Rights in the creation of a digital citizen's education kit.

 

New forthcoming resources and a call for tenders

In 2022, the CNIL will develop new materials to meet the demands made by parents, but also by educators and teachers for more information and guidance.

The CNIL also calls on all stakeholders to jointly work to provide parents and educational authorities with effective tools and guidance that are in line with children's rights.

To come up with a satisfactory and effective solution to these concerns, the CNIL launched in January 2022 a call for tenders for the development of digital tools in the field of education: five innovative projects will benefit from enhanced support over a period of one year in order to propose tools that comply with data protection regulations.