Social media platforms have said the new data bill’s mandate to verify the identity of millions of children and their parents could pose a security risk. The Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (DPDP) was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, paving the way for India’s first privacy legislation. It mandates verifiable parental consent for processing the personal data of children.
The bill defines children as those below 18 years, which is above the global threshold. Users above 13 years of age, for example, are typically allowed on many social media platforms. For users in India between 13 and 18 years of age, apps may now have to get parental consent by verifying the identity of the children and their parents.
“If the child uses 40 apps on their phone and each of these 40 apps have a copy of their Aadhaar card and also a copy of their parents’ Aadhaar card, it would be a big issue,” said an industry executive.
“Social media intermediaries have been advocating for a self-regulatory or a co-regulatory standard where the details of verifiable parental consent are spelt out. ID documentation of millions of Indian children and their parents is an unnecessary security risk that will manifest thanks to the age-gating obligation,” the person added.