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Chrissie Maher award 2017

Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield

The children’s commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, produced a ‘child-friendly’ plain English version of Facebook’s terms and conditions.

We’ve often highlighted the need to simplify online terms and conditions on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube. Many users of those sites still don’t realize how their images and footage might be used once posted online. Millions of children use Facebook, including around half of all 12-year-olds, according to Ofcom figures. (Facebook’s mimimum age restriction is 13.) But few if any understand the implications of posting their personal details and images online.

Longfield is keen for that to change.

“Children have the right to know what they are signing up to, in clear, simple, easy to understand language,” she said. She also stressed that the new, clearer versions of the terms and conditions “aren’t a legal document but are designed to be an accessible, child-friendly tool to help children understand their digital rights.”

When you create a Facebook account (as Anne Longfield’s guide explains), you agree that Facebook can do with it as they wish. Which could mean images sold to third-party companies. How many children – or their parents – had any idea this was the case?

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