Social Media Note for Parents

Social Media Information for Parents


What to know:


What is the Digital Age of Consent?

In May 2018, the EU adopted a new set of  Data Protection Regulations. The GDPR introduces substantial changes to European data protection law, along with severe financial penalties for non-compliance.

The new regulations require members states to set a digital age of consent. The digital age of consent is the minimum age a user must be before a social media and internet companies can collect, process and store their data. The E.U. has set the age of consent to sixteen by default and member states are given the option of adopting a lower age, but it may be no lower than thirteen years. In Ireland, the Digital Age of Consent will be set at 16 when the Data Protection Bill 2018 is enacted.

Age restrictions for popular social media sites: The digital age of consent in Ireland is set to be 16 after the government's proposal for 13 was reflected in the Dáil. The government defeat means that social media giants such as Facebook and Snapchat have to take measures to acquire parental consent for users it knows are between 13 and 16 years of age.



  • Although photos 'disappear' after they have been viewed, the receiver of the photos can screenshot them and save them for future use.

  • Snapchat owns every photo and video you send on the app and they are free to do whatever they want with them: If you send a Snap to someone via "Snapchat" you give Snapchat a "nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such user content in connection with the services, subject to your use of privacy settings in the services to control who can see your user content."

  • Snapkidz is an app for children aged 16 and under. Photos can be drawn on and captioned but the user cannot send or receive photos.



  • Instagram is for children aged 16 years and over.

  • Instagram gives the option of sharing photos with just friends if this option is selected in your privacy settings.

  • However, if you hashtag something (#) the photo can be seen publicly.



  • Facebook is for children aged 16 years and over.

  • It is not suitable for primary school children.