Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg met Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton yesterday in Dublin where they discussed protecting children online.
Deputy Naughton warned about the risks to children of all ages because of the advancements of technology and the ways social media interacts with all sections of society.
The Fine Gael TD described the meeting as ‘positive’ and said Zuckerberg told her that Facebook was working proactively on the issues raised.
“However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and we will see what measures are implemented or what necessary actions we, as legislators, need to take,” Deputy Naughton said.
On the issue of age verification, which experts indicate is one of the vital ways that we can protect children online, Deputy Naughton told Mr Zuckerberg that people or children should not have to provide biometric data or their PPS numbers to Facebook.
“What I did say to Mr Zuckerberg was that there were various ways that people can prove their age. We need to find a way to verify age without having to share sensitive data directly with Facebook or any other social media platform,” said Deputy Naughton.
“My concern in this area is due to paedophiles online masquerading as young people and preying on and grooming children.
“I asked Mr Zuckerberg to put his words at the weekend into action and engage with the International Grand Committee when it meets in Dublin in November. Mr Zuckerberg has agreed to consider my request,” she said.
The International Grand Committee is a meeting of parliamentarians from throughout the world and which considers matters related to social media regulation.
“He also indicated that he wants the GDPR framework to be adopted worldwide as he felt it was a balanced framework. That is to be welcomed.”