Protecting children’s privacy online: a critical look to four European self-regulatory initiatives
This article examines the rise of self-regulatory initiatives as private governance mechanisms adopted by the Internet industry in the EU to protect children’s privacy online. It analyses four specific initiatives focusing on procedural (rule formulation, monitoring, enforcement) and organizational (organizational structures, role of public actors) aspects, in order to reflect on the strengths and shortcomings of the self-regulatory process. The analysis shows significant limitations of self-regulation in the area of online child safety, characterized by broadly formulated statements and unmeasurable commitments, limited monitoring mechanisms and often inexistent sanctions. It is argued that sector-specific, institutionalized European codes of conduct, which disentangle protection of online safety and privacy as policy aims, could better safeguard the privacy of children in the dynamic multi-jurisdictional, multi-stakeholder dominated online environment.Keywords: children; European Union; online risks; privacy; self-regulation; soft law
EJLT is an open access journal, aiming to disseminate academic work and perspectives as widely as possible to the benefit of the author and the author’s readers. It is the assumption of the EJLT that authors who publish in the journal wish their work to be available as freely and as widely as possible through the open access publishing channel.
Authors who publish with EJLT will retain copyright and moral rights in the underlying work but will grant all users the rights to copy, store and print for non-commercial use copies of their work. Commercial mirroring may also be carried out with the consent of the journal. The work must remain as published – without redaction or editing – and must clearly state the identity of the author and the originating EJLT url of the article. Any commercial use of the author’s work - apart from mirroring - requires the permission of the author and any aspects of the article which are the property of EJLT (e.g. typographical format) requires permission from EJLT.
Authors can sometimes become no longer contactable (through, for example, death or retirement). If this occurs, any rights in the work will pass to the European Journal of Law and Technology which will continue to make the work available in as wide a manner as possible to achieve the aims of open access and ensuring that an author's work continues to be available. An author - or their estate - can recover these rights from EJLT by providing contact information.
The European Journal of Law and Technology holds rights in format, publication and dissemination.
EJLT, as a non-commercial organisation - which receives donations to allow it to continue publishing – must retain information on reader access to journal articles. This means that we will not give permission to mirror the journal unless we can be provided with full details as to reader access to each and every journal article. We prefer and encourage deep linking rather than mirroring. Encouragement is thus given for all users – commercial and non-commercial – to provide indexes and links to articles in the EJLT where the index or link points to the location of the article on the EJLT server, rather than to stored copies on other servers.
Please contact the European Journal of Law and Technology if you are in any doubt as to what this statement of use covers.