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The Spanish Government approves the Law on the Protection of Minors in Digital Environments: A step forward in online child safety

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TrustCloud | TrustCloud | The Spanish Government approves the Law on the Protection of Minors in Digital Environments

Children are increasingly accessing mobile devices and websites at younger ages. Additionally, they are making more intensive use of these resources, which has driven the creation of a regulatory framework to protect the interests of minors and prevent the negative consequences of their exposure to the digital environment.  


pain’s Council of Ministers gave the green light this Tuesday to the draft Law on the Protection of Minors in Digital Environments, a pioneering regulation aimed at guaranteeing the rights of the youngest in the online world. 

The key points of a comprehensive project covering education, security, and investment 

This law, expected to be approved in the coming weeks, introduces various measures to protect minors from the risks they may encounter online, such as bullying, inappropriate content, or screen addiction. The main new features include: 

  • Raising the minimum age: The minimum age for creating social media accounts and using other online services that require registration will be raised from 14 to 16 years. 
  • Mandatory parental controls: All electronic devices, such as mobiles, tablets, and computers, will be required to come with free and accessible parental control tools pre-installed. These tools will allow parents to limit screen time, filter content, and restrict access to certain applications or websites. 
  • Age verification: Companies offering online services to minors will be required to implement “reliable” age verification systems to ensure that only adult users can access certain content or services. 
  • Ban on “lootboxes”: Minors under 18 will be prohibited from accessing digital spaces that use random reward mechanisms, known as “lootboxes,” found in some video games and often involving a financial cost. 
  • Paediatric test: A paediatric test will be included in primary care to detect possible signs of inappropriate use of digital technologies among children and adolescents. 
  • Digital restraining orders: The possibility of requesting digital restraining orders is envisaged to protect minors from online harassment, provided that repeated harassing behaviours are detected that compromise the safety of minors. 
  • Content labelling: The law also establishes a content labelling system to warn users if digital content is suitable for minors. This labelling must also be accessible to people with disabilities or those on the autistic spectrum. 
  • “Grooming” will be a crime: Falsifying information such as age or gender to initiate conversations with minors will be a crime in itself, regardless of whether subsequent offences such as sexual assault or harassment occur. 

Deepfakes: A direct concern impacting the safety of minors 

The new Law on the Protection of Minors in Digital Environments dedicates a specific section to the regulation of deepfakes, considering them a form of illicit content when used to harm minors. In particular, the creation, distribution, or possession of deepfakes that depict minors in sexual situations or in ways that could be degrading to them is prohibited. The law includes prison sentences of up to two years for those who create or distribute such deepfakes. The penalty is increased if the deepfake is disseminated via the internet or social media, thus increasing the potential audience. 

Additionally, online platforms will be required to immediately remove any deepfake that violates the law. They must also adopt due diligence measures to prevent the publication of illegal deepfakes on their services. 

The aim of these measures is to protect minors from the harm that deepfakes can cause, both reputationally and psychologically. 

This law introduces, for the first time in Spanish legal order, a specific legal framework to regulate deepfakes, recognising the risk that this type of technology can pose to minors. 

The draft bill is an important step forward in ensuring the safety of minors online. However, it is crucial that the law is effectively enforced and that online platforms actively cooperate. We will need to wait for its final implementation to assess the results. 

Learn about our age verification solutions and how TrustCloud helps you comply with all regulations

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