According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the EU Fundamental Rights Charter children have a right to protection and participation. However, the internet and the use of algorithms have put children’s wellbeing at risk: excessive use of online services and exposure to content that is particularly harmful to children raise many questions with respect to safeguarding the rights of the child. As online services are driven by algorithms, measures are needed to prevent algorithms from profiling children online. Secondary EU legislation includes several provisions to support safeguarding fundamental rights of children, including the GDPR, the DSA, and the proposed AI Act, most notably to prohibit profiling of children, e.g. for marketing purposes. However, are these legal requirements enough? How can we make sure that these rules are effectively implemented - notably in a fast-changing digital landscape? Can we even use algorithms to support child protection and participation in the online world?
• What are the main risks to the wellbeing of children posed by social media and other online services considering interplay between protection and participation?
• How does the use of algorithms harm, and how can it help safeguarding child rights online?
• Which provisions in available European law, such as the GDPR and the DSA, are most promising to increase the protection of children online while at the same time allowing their participation when identified as a child?
• How to make sure that legal provisions are effectively controlled and enforced?