Pilot Project CRIO

Pilot Project Children’s Rights Infrastructure Online – CRIO (2020-2021)

 

Problem

On paper, the position of children online seems secure. EU legislation describes both the rights and the protection mechanisms to serve children online. In practice though, these rights and protection mechanisms for children are hardly implemented, be it their right to participate in the policymaking process on topics relevant to them online, the protection against being exposed to goods, services, and content items online that are harmful to them or the special protection of their privacy rights online. In effect, this means that children hardly enjoy a special status online and are de facto treated as adults.

 

Goal

A consortium of institutions is to change the existing situation. Its goal is to create and trial practical solutions to start implementing rights and protection mechanisms for children online while honoring relevant existing European and national legislation as well as privacy by design principles, without curbing adult rights. The infrastructure is to be tested in one Member State but is to be implementable in other European Union Member States too. Planned intellectual outputs:

  • Create an overview of relevant existing European and (for one Member State) national legislation concerning the rights of and protection mechanisms for children online.
  • Create a tested and functioning open-source infrastructure that is both sustainable and durable to implement child rights and child protection mechanisms online.
  • Create sustainable and durable mechanisms for children to express themselves and co-create with policymakers on the topic of the position of children online.
  • Select and promote sustainable and durable support mechanisms for children online.

 

Frames

  • The application text of the Pilot Project “Outline and trial an infrastructure dedicated to the implementation of child rights and protection mechanisms in the online domain based on the GDPR and other existing EU legislation relevant for the child within the online domain” written by Ezzev foundation and submitted by MEPs Michał Boni, Lambert van Nistelrooij and Jan Olbrycht.
  • The modification text provided by the European Commission.
  • The budget allocated by the European Parliament Committee on Budgets and confirmed by the European Parliament and the European Commission.

 

Project target group

  • Youngsters aged 12-18 with an experienced distance to society and living in Member States;
  • Parents of youngsters aged 12-18 with an experienced distance to society and living in Member States.

 

Partners

logos

 

Concretely

  • Create an overview of relevant existing European and (for one Member State) national legislation concerning the rights of and protection mechanisms for children online.
    • Indexing the relevant existing legal European and national (of one Member State) concerning the rights of and protection mechanisms for children online.
    • Translating the relevant legislation into technological and logistical requirements.
  • Create a tested and functioning open-source infrastructure that is both sustainable and durable to implement child rights and child protection mechanisms online.
    • Budget restrictions and the European Commission leave a limited playing field for the creation of an infrastructure as described in the application text. In effect, the only feasible option is to not start from scratch but to build on existing building blocks that fit within the formulated goal and frames. Fortunately, in the Netherlands these building blocks exist: IRMA (I Reveal My Attributes), created by the foundation Privacy by Design and regulated by the Dutch .nl domain registrar SIDN.

CRIO INFRASTRUCTURE by Ezzev foundation v7a

    • The consortium proposes an iterative development process of adapting the IRMA building blocks to the project target group: co-creation of the first field trial based on a feasibility study, evaluation of the first field trial, co-creation of the second field trial, evaluation of the second field trial and co-creation of the final product.
    • The first field trial is to involve a completely controlled environment involving dummy sites and/ or apps but real technology and real end-users. The second field trial is to involve real sites and/ or apps.
    • The field trials are to take place in the Netherlands but are to result in products The City of Amsterdam is the first city to pilot the field trials. Possibly the City of [to be confirmed] will join Amsterdam.
    • An important element within the infrastructure is the creation of an effective online age check. The consortium proposes treating age as an end-user attribute that is being validated by reliable database sources. This attribute is to be stored in a wallet on the end-user’s device. In line with privacy by design principles, the attribute is not a date of birth but only the indication whether an end-user is below or above a specific age threshold.

CRIO INFRASTRUCTURE by Ezzev foundation v7a_age

    • The age bracket attribute module is in its rudimentary form present in IRMA but needs development still before it can be properly tested.
    • Governmental databases are potential issuers of age bracket attributes within IRMA. The consortium proposes that the City of Amsterdam and possibly the City of [to be confirmed] will function as the issuers of age bracket attributes.
    • A second important element is the creation of a mechanism that honors the need for consent by individuals carrying parental responsibilities. Parental consent too is envisioned as an end-user attribute to be stored in an end-user’s wallet.

CRIO INFRASTRUCTURE by Ezzev foundation v7a_parental

    • The parental consent attribute is currently non-existent in IRMA.
    • The parent-child relationship is registered in governmental databases. But absent in these databases is information whether the registered parents function as the legal representative of the child and, if not, who does. This relationship is registered in decentralised court databases, and also, fortunately, in a centralised database at the Dutch Ministry of Justice.
    • [Organisation to be confirmed] is to be the issuer of the legal representative-child attribute.
    • The legal representative-child attribute forms the basis for a parental consent module, that is to be implemented by the cities involved in the pilots and is to lead to a parental consent attribute.
    • Since some of the building blocks are already rudimentary in place, the consortium proposes to concentrate heavily on the user interfaces and user experiences. Optimising user interfaces and user experiences for IRMA is the specialty of the City of Amsterdam.
    • The concentration on the end-user means that the participants in the pilot are very important. They need to be recruited, receive full preparation for the pilots, be engaged in intervision mechanisms, and participate in co-creation and evaluation processes both online and offline.
  • Create sustainable and durable mechanisms for children to express themselves and co-create with policymakers on the topic of the position of children online.
    • The consortium proposes to create a multinational dialogue platform for children to express themselves and to co-create with policymakers.
    • The consortium also proposes to create offline mechanisms for children to express themselves and to co-create with policymakers.
    • The Polish company Softcream and APPCO foundation are set to develop an online dialogue and co-creation platform based on descriptions of functionalities needed and envisioned journey journeys.
    • Invited to the platform will be: first the individuals engaged in the infrastructure pilots, then focus groups in Poland and Greece and finally, the wider target group. Coordinator in Poland will be the NGO Fundacja Citizen Project. Coordinator in Greece will be Greek company Maria Gkiata – Educational Seminars.
    • The focus groups are to be recruited. Then, the individuals engaged in the infrastructure pilots and individuals from the focus groups (together: core target group) need to be prepared to function both on the online platform and in offline meetings, among themselves and with policy-makers.
    • Next, online dialogue sessions will be organised on the platform, both for the individuals from the core target group among themselves and for these individuals with policy-makers.
    • Then, online dialogue sessions will be organised on the platform for the target group as a whole, including members of the core target group, among themselves and with policy-makers.
    • In parallel, online co-creation sessions will be organised on the platform, as well as offline co-creation sessions, both for the individuals from the core target group among themselves and with policy-makers.
  • Select and promote sustainable and durable support mechanisms for children online.
    • Index, select and promote effective support mechanisms for children in difficult situations online.
    • Index, select and promote end-user access to relevant European Union-related content for children.
    • Create an independent institution dedicated to evaluating, monitoring, promoting and drafting rights and protection mechanisms to serve children online.

CRIO INFRASTRUCTURE by Ezzev foundation v7a_org

    • While this institution is being created, both the general public and a more specialised audience are to be informed and engaged in the project.
    • This means: drafting and publishing dissemination material for the general public and engaging in an online dialogue with members of the general public.
    • Organize conferences for a more specialized audience. Invited speakers are envisioned to be: European and local policy-makers, specialists in the field of authentication and validation infrastructures, specialists in the field of child participation and representatives of the target group.
    • The consortium proposes to organize two conferences, one at the start of the project and one during its finalization.
    • The conferences are to consist of discussion panels and workshops.

 

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