With rapid adoption of smartphones and deeper internet penetration , children now have easy access to a plethora of online games and entertainment. But with this easy access also comes the risk of being exposed to inappropriate content, falling prey to online scams and even child predators who may lurk in the dark corners of the internet.
As the number of children with access to smartphones and tablets increases, so does the number of online gaming platform options for children. With this, the need for a robust system of checks and balances grows louder as well.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has now revised the rules governing intermediaries and digital media. Some of the significant changes include restricting inappropriate and harmful content for children, allowing citizens to file complaints, penalising online gaming providers for contraventions, and implementing oversight and mandatory verification mechanisms for real money games.
With MeitY’s changes, any additional requirements for money-based games including verification of users using know-your-customer (KYC) processes will make it critical for companies to implement adequate access control measures. Verification of such games is subject to compliance with these rules and any legal requirements that relate to the age of consent.
Globally, many regulators are focusing on the safety of children in the digital world. As a result, many multinational companies are already implementing child safety and data protection practices.
MEITY’s amendments may be decisive in addressing some of the concerns with children having access to online games.
Walia is Partner, and Varshney is Associate, at Khaitan & Co. Views are personal