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Statement on Last Minute Changes to the GDPR Age of Consent

Washington, DC – Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman issued the following statement on last minute changes to the text of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that unilaterally increases the age of consent from 13 to 16 for the use of online services.

“Members of the Internet Association provide children a safe place to explore and learn. Policymakers should recognize the time tested best practices that have been developed maximize safety for adolescents over 13 who choose to take advantage of the social and learning opportunities available online.

“The unilateral, eleventh hour decision to increase the age of consent without a stated rationale or stakeholder consultation is plainly not in children’s best interest, as numerous child safety groups have pointed out. They have recommended that the age be immediately reversed to 13 so that teens of all ages can take advantage of the many beneficial and educational purposes of online services. The Internet industry joins child safety groups and other stakeholders in calling on European General Data Protection Regulation negotiators to restore 13 as the age of consent for the use of online services.”