Keys to the recently approved Digital Protection Law for minors

Approved by the Council of Ministers the draft of the organic law for the protection of minors in digital environments (Digital Protection Law for minors), which will bring important changes to the way in which the little ones relate to technology and also to the way in which their parents will be able to control its use.

The text, which has been debated by the Council of Ministers, has been drafted by the Ministry of Youth and Children, whose head is Sira Rego (Sumar) and has also had the participation of three other portfolios, the Ministry of the Presidency, Justice and Relations with the Courts, the Ministry of Digital Transition and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.

Now the bill will have to pass the approval of advisory bodies and, subsequently, it will go to the Congress of Deputies. There, amendments could be introduced to the norm, as a result of the negotiation process with other political parties.

What does the Digital Protection Law mean for minors?

The text includes several modifications to the Penal Code so that the rules can be adapted to the current technological context. For example, this is what would happen with the current “restraining orders”, which could be applied in the digital environment.

Thus, a kind of “virtual restraining orders”, that would force those convicted not to be able to communicate through the Internet and social networks, as well as instant messaging applications, with the people they had subjected to harassment. The text still needs to be outlined in this sense, in order to provide “an effective response to growing computer crime,” as he points out.

In the same way, the law also would regulate fake news and mass falsificationsas well as the use of Artificial Intelligence to create deepfakes or images and videos of people in compromising situations, or the dissemination of statements that they had not uttered, etc.

According to the text, the creation of false documents of a sexual nature – revenge porn – or humiliation, and their distribution through the Internet or social networks, can lead to up to two years in prison.

Another of the most popular measures included in the standard is the democratization of access to parental control in technological devices. For example, manufacturers of mobile phones, tablets, computers and smart TVs will be forced to include parental control settings “out of the box.”

These should be accessible from the moment the device is first turned on, so that parents can easily configure them. Thanks to them, parents will be able to use free mechanisms to limit minors’ access to these devices without supervision.

Along with these measures, they also include pediatric tests to determine the degree of addiction of minors to technology, as well as the inclusion of digital literacy subjects. In the same way, it also proposes a system for labeling sensitive content that is easily understandable by anyone.

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