The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has recommended to the European Commission (EC) that new rules should be put in place to protect children from harmful online content and advertising. The EESC is a consultative body that forwards its opinions to the EC, European Council and European Parliament.
The EESC gave the recommendation in an opinion relating to online advertising and child safety, which cited the increased unsupervised access by children to the Internet as the reason behind the need for the rules. The opinion sets out that Internet businesses are unlikely to self-regulate in relation to advertising online, and criticises previous papers published by the EC for failing to deal with the child protection issue.
The EESC referred specifically to the need for regulation in online advertising relating to food, and also recommended including as part of the school curriculum a course to ensure children are educated in how to properly use the Internet and interpret online advertisements.