In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, European States shall reinforce their protection measures on the personal data processing of minors, in particular on data about their health and those one recollected in the context of instruction, in order to reduce potential negative effects, like the public identification of a minor as a COVID-19 holder, has affirmed the Board of Ministries of the European Council in a declaration on minor privacy protection in the digital environment, adopted on the 28th April 2021.
The Board of Ministries has expressed serious warries for consequences and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on minors due to the increasing of online activities and the usage of products and services online, or the digital exclusion.
Anyway, the Board of Ministries has recognized also opportunities and advantages of the online instruments, like the remote learning and the possibility to stay in contact with friends and families, and asks member states to “exercise a better control” and adopt measure in order to reduce the digital difference among minors, in order that they can full enjoy their human rights.
The Board of Ministries has remembered that information technologies and the communication are, generally, an important instrument in minor’s life, but that their usage can generate risks.
In particular, the tracking of the minor’s activities in the digital environment can expose them to criminal activities, such as solicitation for sexual purposes, sexual extortion, sexual exploitation (including the exploitation of sexually explicit content generated by minors), or other illegal or harmful activities, such as discrimination, bullying, stalking and other forms of harassment. (For further information, see also the Circular 5-2020 “Minors and protection of privacy with the GDPR” issued by Federprivacy.