European Union Considers Proposal to Curb Addictive Apps

According to a draft report, numerous online services are deliberately designed to keep users glued to their screens for as long as possible. Shockingly, research shows that young adults aged 16-24 spend an average of seven hours a day on the internet. This alarming trend is a cause for concern.
12 October 2023
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Tech companies may soon face restrictions on making their apps addictive as the European Union considers a new proposal. Member of the European Parliament, Kim van Sparrentak, aims to protect consumers from the addictive elements of smartphone apps. The proposal highlights that many online services are designed to keep users hooked, with young adults spending an average of seven hours a day on the internet. Additionally, one in four children and young people exhibit problematic smartphone use. Van Sparrentak emphasises that these apps are difficult to resist, as they utilize psychological tricks. Some features the proposal hopes to restrict include ending infinite scrolling, turning off all notifications by default, and implementing warnings for excessive use.

DOT Europe, representing leading internet companies in Europe, has responded to the proposal, expressing their commitment to understanding the impact of their products and ensuring a positive and safe online experience for users. They call for an open debate on the potential impacts, rather than targeting specific actors or technologies. The proposal has gained support from various members of the European Parliament who have witnessed the negative effects firsthand. If approved, the proposal will be translated into legal texts by the European Commission next year and will require approval from the parliament and member states.

- CyberBeat


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