Check must on mining children's data: Srikrishna panel

Check must on mining children's data: Srikrishna panel

No one should be allowed to conduct profiling, tracking, behavioural monitoring or advertising directed at children, who constitute almost one-third of internet users across the globe.

No one should be allowed to conduct profiling, tracking, behavioural monitoring or advertising directed at children, who constitute almost one-third of internet users across the globe.

This is what Justice B N Srikrishna Committee on data protection law has recommended to the government in its 213-page report on data protection law and a 67-page 67-page draft 'Personal Data Protection Bill 2018'.

The committee insisted that data collectors should not be allowed to mine details of those below 18 years that are harmful to them.

"It is widely accepted that processing of personal data of children ought to be subject to greater protection than regular processing of data. The justification for such differential treatment arises from the recognition that children are unable to fully understand the consequences of their actions. This is only exacerbated in the digital world where data collection and processing is largely opaque and mired in complex consent forms," it said.

The 67-page draft 'Personal Data Protection Bill 2018' has said guardian data fiduciaries should be barred from "profiling, tracking, or behavioural monitoring of, or targeted advertising directed at, children and undertaking any other processing of personal data that can cause significant harm to the child". A guardian data fiduciary is identified as those who operate commercial websites or online services directed at children and who process large volumes of personal data of children.

Underscoring the need for protection for children, the committee said, the justification for such differential treatment arises from the recognition that children are unable to fully comprehend the consequences of their actions. This is only exacerbated in the digital world where data collection and processing is "largely opaque and mired in complex consent forms".

"All data fiduciaries (including guardian data fiduciaries) shall adopt appropriate age verification mechanism and obtain parental consent. Furthermore, guardian data fiduciaries, specifically, shall be barred from certain practices. Guardian data fiduciaries exclusively offering counselling services or other similar services will not be required to take parental consent," it said.

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