80% of parents in favor of parental authorization for downloading apps before the age of 16

80% of parents in favor of parental authorization for downloading apps before the age of 16

A US national survey finds that an overwhelming majority of American parents would approve of a potential law requiring consent for children under 16 to download apps. This survey, which reveals growing parental concerns about the online safety of young people, also supports Meta’s request for such a law at the national level.

Ask for their approval when their child under 16 wants to download an application. Nearly 80% of parents would be ready to support this potential law, with an equitable distribution between parents with Democratic (81%) and Republican leanings (79%), according to a study* conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the group Meta. This broad approval cuts across political divides, highlighting a shared concern about children’s online safety.

A majority of parents (55%) consider 16 to be the appropriate age to require parental consent for app downloads, preferring this limit rather than setting it at 13 or 18. This uniform preference, among both Democrats (54%) and Republicans (56%), highlights a desire to protect adolescents while recognizing their growing maturity.

More than three-quarters of parents (76%) prefer app stores over individual apps as an easier and safer way to approve their children’s app downloads. This preference is consistent across the political spectrum. The same proportion of parents (76%) trust app stores more than individual apps to securely manage the personal data needed to verify parental consent.

This survey would be in line with Meta, who last November called for the adoption of a national law that would require App Stores to obtain parental consent when their child downloads an application. Meta’s proposal would force app stores to implement parental controls, rather than social networks.

*Methodology: This survey was conducted from November 13 to 17 among a sample of 2019 American parents with at least one child under 18 years old.