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Gov’t: Children over 15 may agree with personal data processing

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Prague, March 21 (CTK) – Children over 15 will be able to agree with their personal data processing without their parents’ necessary consent, according to a bill on personal data handling that the Czech ANO minority government approved on Wednesday.

The original draft would lower the age limit to 13 years, but the government decided to raise it, meeting a recommendation by the Office for the Personal Data Protection (UOOU), Interior Minister Lubomir Metnar (for ANO) told reporters yesterday.

The bill is based on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) new EU rules.

The Interior Ministry would like the Chamber of Deputies to pass it faster, in the first reading already, as the respective EU regulation takes effect on May 25. The Czech Republic would thereby avoid possible disputes with the European Commission for not having adopted the rules in time.

UOOU chairwoman Ivana Janu told reporters that she had asked the government to increase the age limit to 15 years at least.

The EU regulation enables the member states to choose the age limit between 13 and 16 years.

Under the Czech legislation, children under 15 would still need their parents’ consent to their personal data processing, for instance, if they wanted to open an account on social networks.

Trade unions and the employers’ associations insisted on keeping the current age limit of 16 years.

However, the Interior Ministry says it would be too strict for almost 16-year-old youths to need their parents’ consent to the installation or use of a new communication application and a social network if they are at the same time criminally liable.

The 15-year limit was chosen eventually since it corresponded to the limit in the civil and penal codes, Janu said, pointing to the criminal liability age.

The cabinet also changed the provision under which small municipalities and their organisations would face the maximum fine of 15,000 crowns for the violation of privacy protection. The upper fine level is now put at ten million crowns.

However, the law rules out that the fine level would threaten the existence of a municipality.

The Association of the Local Self-rule Authorities have criticised the change.

The new legislation is to replace the valid law on personal data protection.

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