The minimum age for registering on social media will now be 13 years in Belgium, following the government’s approval of a bill to this effect proposed by the Secretary of State for the Protection of Private Life, Philippe De Backer. A new European regulation on data protection that will strengthen existing rules will apply from May. One of the things Member States can still determine is the minimum age at which their citizens can access social media networks. The discussions in member states oscillate between 13 and 16 years old. Following consultations with the children’s rights commissioners and youth councils, the Government opted for a minimum age of 13 years.
Minister De Backer feels that choosing age 13 takes reality more into account. Child Focus statistics show that 83% of teenagers aged 13 to 14 connect regularly on social media.
The Secretary of State insists on the importance of educating young people on the significance of education in protecting private lives.