GDPR’s Role in Protecting Children’s Data

hoe bescherm ik mijn kind online?


With the rise of online platforms, social media and interactive applications, children are increasingly exposed to sharing personal information. In response, the European Union implemented the General Data Protection Regulation (GDG), better known as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), to ensure the privacy rights of individuals, including children. Let’s dig deeper into the role of the GDPR in protecting children’s data.

Children as a Special Category of Data Subjects

One of the most important aspects of the GDPR is the recognition of children as a special category of data subjects. The regulation imposes strict rules regarding the collection, processing and use of children’s personal data, especially online. The GDPR recognizes that children may not be able to fully understand the consequences of sharing their data, so they need special protection.

Age-specific Consent Requirements.

One of the main ways the GDPR protects children’s data is by imposing age-appropriate consent requirements for the collection and processing of children’s personal data. Under the regulation, the consent of a parent or guardian must be obtained for children under a certain age, which can vary from state to state but cannot be under 13. This measure ensures that parents have control over their children’s data and that children do not unknowingly share personal information.

Privacy Terms for Children

The GDPR requires services that specifically target children, such as social media platforms, online games and educational websites, to offer privacy terms that are understandable to the child. These privacy terms should be written in clear and simple language and should include information about how personal data is collected, used and shared. By promoting transparency, children and their parents can make informed decisions about using online services.

Protection from Profiling and Targeted Advertising

Another important aspect of the GDPR is protecting children from profiling and targeted advertising. The regulation prohibits the collection of personal data from children for advertising purposes without the express consent of a parent or guardian. This helps ensure children’s privacy and prevents their exposure to manipulative
marketing practices.

Here are some of the biggest risks related to protecting children’s data:
  1. Identity theft: Children can become victims of identity theft if their personal information, such as name, address or date of birth, is stolen and misused for fraudulent purposes.

  2. Cyberbullying: Sharing personal information online can leave children vulnerable to cyberbullying, where others use that information to harass, intimidate or abuse them.

  3. Online predators:
    Inadequate protection of children’s data can make it easier for online predators to contact, deceive and manipulate children for their own purposes.

  4. Commercial exploitation:
    Companies may collect and use children’s data for commercial purposes, such as targeted advertising or profiling children based on their online behavior, which can lead to manipulation and unwanted influence.

  5. Long-term privacy impact:
    The consequences of sharing personal information at a young age can be long-lasting and impact children’s privacy and security as they grow older.

  6. Violation of consent requirements:
    If organizations do not obtain adequate consent from parents or guardians before collecting or processing children’s personal data, it can lead to violations of the GDPR and other laws and regulations.

  7. Unintentional sharing of information:
    Children may not always be aware of the risks of sharing personal information online, potentially inadvertently exposing sensitive data to unwanted parties.

  8. Lack of transparency and control: Lack of transparency about how personal data is collected, used and shared can lead to a lack of control for children and their parents over their online privacy.


The GDPR plays a vital role in protecting children’s data in the digital age. By imposing strict rules on the collection, processing and use of children’s personal data, the regulation ensures that the privacy rights of this vulnerable group are safeguarded. Through age-appropriate consent requirements, transparent privacy terms and protections against targeted advertising, the GDPR provides a framework that protects children’s privacy and promotes their online safety.

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