Local Campaigner Welcomes New Law to Protect Children Online
A new law is set to protect our children online, a Fine Gael Councillor who has held a series of local public meetings on online gaming and social media, has welcomed the law.
Fine Gael Cllr. and General and Election candidate Emer Higgins said: “My colleague the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D., has announced that he will introduce a new Online Safety Act to improve online safety and ensure that children can be protected online. This is something of huge concern to parents locally and I’m pleased to see progress.”
“For the first time we will have a law setting a clear expectation for service providers to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the users of their service. The system will be overseen by an Online Safety Commissioner.I held a series of meetings in Lucan, Clonadlkin, North Clondalkin and Rathcoole for parents who wanted more information on online gaming and social media and it was clear there’s a real need for better regulation,” said Cllr. Emer Higgins.
“This is really good news for parents who seek to protect their children while they benefit from all that digital technology has to offer. The Online Safety Act will define categories of harmful online content and place requirements on operators to Operate an Online Safety Code, which would set out the steps they are taking to keep their users safe online. While there are many very good initatives going on across the government to promote online safety, particularily by WebWise, the Online Safety Commissioner can be a single online access point through which all available Online Safety resources can be accessed by parents, teachers and children. This could build on the government’s Be Safe Online portal. We need a media commission and two regulators to police these reassures,” explained Cllr. Emer Higgins.
“A short six week public consultation is set to commence on the options and I encourage parents in particular to have their say,” concluded Cllr. Emer Higgins.
Photo: Cllr. Emer Higgins, Jonathan Davies, technologist, and Aoife Cassidy, Home School Liason Officer at St. Peter Apostle School in Neilstown pictured in the school last week at their Social Media and Online Gaming information meeting for parents.