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Professor Barry O’Sullivan and the campaign to raise the digital age of consent

Prof Barry O’Sullivan has teamed up with cyber psychologist Mary Aiken in a campaign to inform the public about the Irish digital age of consent and why they think it should be raised from the current 13 years to the default age of 16 under the General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR). Irish politicians voted to set the Irish digital age of consent at 13, the lowest age allowable under the GDPR, but this decision has been called into question after the conviction of Irish man Matthew Horan, who used Skype, Snapchat, Instagram and Kik, an anonymous instant messaging application, to send and receive the images from six identified child users in Ireland and nine unknown users around the world.

It also emerged that the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland which represents 700 Irish-based US companies including Google and Twitter lobbied the Government for the lower age. The story which was broken by Ellen Coyne of The Times mentioned the submission that Prof O’Sullivan and Mary Aiken made during the consultation process about the digital age of consent.

Earlier this week Prof O’Sullivan appeared on RTE Radio’s Seán O’Rourke show, The Last Word with Matt Cooper and Cork’s 96FM to talk about these issues.