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Press Service

Don't miss an opportunity to improve youth protection

Stakeholders are asking for an evaluation of the identification and age verification functionality of the new electronic identity card in Germany for young people aged 12 to 16 years.

Berlin/Darmstadt, 20.11.2008
The German associations Deutschland sicher im Netz e.V. (DsiN), the Stiftung Digitale Chancen and the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter e.V. (FSM) are claiming for an evaluation whether the identity check and age verification functionality of the new electronic identity card in Germany could be enlarged to younger age groups. They bring forward their request at the German IT-Summit on November 20, 2008.

The electronic identification allows for the use of the identity card for electronic commerce and e-government via the Internet. The draft law submitted by the German government this year stipulates the age limit for the electronic identification for people over 16 years old. The lowering of this age limit or alternatively the option to verify the age only without transmission of any other personal data could comprehensively improve youth protection and also consumer protection:
  • Young people could be protected from harassment on social community platforms. With an electronic identification or alternatively age verification process the unauthorised use of these platforms by adults could be counteracted and thus grooming attacks could be combated efficiently.

  • Installation of a joint process of electronic identification by parents and their children would help the parents to know in which communities their children usually are communicating. Thus the digital literacy of parents and children could be improved.
Children and young people feel at home in the digital world, explaines Jutta Croll, Managing Director of Stiftung Digitale Chancen, we should provide them with any tool available to boost their safety while using the various opportunities the Internet offers. Therefore we welcome the electronic identity card and hope that the political decision makers realise the high potential for improved youth protection it allows for.

At the Youth Protection Roundtable the Stiftung Digitale Chancen is engaged with international colleagues in the development of recommendations how Internet safety for young people can be improved. Therefore together with DsiN and the FSM, the Stiftung Digitale Chancen have elaborated a policy paper demonstrating various examples how the electronic identification or age verification process could be used for young people aged 12 to 16 involving also their parents.To avoid missing an opportunity to improve youth protection on the Internet with the launch of the new German identity card the stakeholders are asking for a scientific expertise to evaluate the potential of the alternatives the electronic identification card provides for.

The policy paper in German language can be found here.

  • Stiftung Digitale Chancen: Fasanenstr. 3, D-10623 Berlin, Jutta Croll, Tel.: ++49 (0)30-43727730, email: jcroll@digitale-chancen.de

  • Deutschland sicher im Netz e.V., Albrechtstr. 10 a, 10117 Berlin, Angelika Pelz, Tel.: ++49 (0)30-27576310, email: a.pelz@sicher-im-netz.de

  • FSM e.V.; Spreeufer 5, 10178 Berlin; Maja Winter, Tel.: ++49 (0)30-240484-30, email: winter@fsm.de

Further information: http://www.digitale-chancen.de

Download of the text