At the start of the INCLUSO pilot projects, a lot of questions and concerns came to the minds of staff members involved in the pilots. Some of these questions were dealing with legal issues.
As the INCLUSO partners did not have legal experts within the partnership, we agreed to put all of our questions together and to present them to an expert in this matter.
The answer we received was that the questions presented a big challenge to the legal framework and need a lot of research and work to come up with the right answers.
The questions served as an entry to the key-note presentation given by Prof. Dr. Jos Dumortier, (ICRI).
INCLUSO legal questions
This report lines up some of the issues that were raised by the INCLUSO partners. The questions are sometimes very specific and exemplary, sometimes more general.
- How to sign people up to the social software platform of the organisation in the best legal way? Is there an existing format for a registration form that answers the minimal legal requirements?
- Youngsters, under the age of 13 are not allowed in social network sites. Can organisations like Tonuso set up closed environments (like NING) where they teach the youngsters how to use it?
- Related to the above question: youngsters under 13 are, most of the time, not allowed on social network sites. What if they do so anyhow at the centre where they reside?
- If personal client information is stored on social software platforms, controlled by the organisation, what rules should they adhere to? Can they keep that information?
- Intellectual property rights
- What if youngsters put illegally downloaded material on the your project website or our social software platform?
- Youngsters download pictures, music, etc and put them on our “closed” social platform. Can we allow that? Should we remove that material?
- What are the minimal legal precautions that organisations should put in place when starting up the use of social software as a supportive tool for the organisational work with youth? (minors + adults)
- Can an informed consent form make any difference in this matter? What should it look like? (is ours OK? – see document in attachment)
If things go wrong
- What if minors (or adults) who are client at the organisation do illegal things? Can the organisation (or staff members) be held responsible because the provided for internet access (computer, internet access, training,….) ?
- Connecting to open wireless networks is illegal (at least in Belgium?) What if youngsters do so anyhow from the centre they reside in, or with computers that were set at the disposal of the youngsters by the centre?
- Tonuso works with young people that are all subject of the Flemish ‘Special Youth Assistance'. Tonuso cannot, by law, communicate in any way about the identity of the youngsters at Tonuso. What happens if Tonuso youngsters present themselves on social software platforms and give away that they are linked to Tonuso?
- Can an organisation, coach or staff member be held responsible if they provide and/or support access to the internet at the centre to youngsters who then use the internet to do illegal things? (e.g. selling drugs)
- Communication between counsellor and client is in theory private. What if this private information is shared in an online platforms that a shared with more counsellors at the centre?
Minors – Adults
- How does all the above change if we consider minors or adults?
EU legislation – National legislation
- Is the national law concerning all the above topics different, depending on the country, or is this a EU-matter? As we are presenting a EU-report, it should be clear if the above is valid for the whole of Europe or perhaps only for one of the partner countries.
- Is there a EU, or national help centre where organisations can go for help, if they have more questions on legal issues?