Whatsapp extends deadline to accept new privacy terms 

  • WhatsApp has extended the deadline by which its two billion users must either accept its updated terms and conditions or stop using the service
  • The original cut-off date was 8 February, but users now have until 15 May to take action
  • The firm was criticised for sending the notification, which seemed to suggest changes to the data it would share with its parent company Facebook
  • Since the announcement and notifications went out across its platform, millions of people around the world have downloaded alternative encrypted messaging apps such as Signal and Telegram
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Lockdown measures creating a lost generation of young people

  • A “whole generation of young people” could be lost to education during the Covid-19 lockdown because they do not have access to digital learning, a leading charity warned
  • Schools have been closed to most children, meaning remote-learning at home with lessons via the internet
  • Rae Tooth, of the Villiers Park Education Trust, is concerned about children without computers
  • The government said it was providing thousands of laptops for pupils
  • Ms Tooth, chief executive of the Trust, based at Foxton near Cambridge, told BBC Politics East that “digital poverty” hits the ability of children to learn if they have no access to the internet, (or can only access it via smartphones with small screens)
  • Ofcom has estimated that 9% of children in the UK do not have a PC, laptop or tablet at home
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Review into children’s social care of England launched

  • The government has launched an independent review into the children’s care sector in England
  • It will be lead by a former teacher, Josh MacAlister, who founded the social work charity Frontline in 2013
  • It will “raise the bar for vulnerable children across the country”, said the Department for Education (DfE)
  • It will look at every area of the care system, from a child’s first referral to social services to outcomes for children leaving care at 18
  • In March 2020, 80,080 children were being looked after in the care system in England, up from 64,400 in March 2010, according to DfE figures
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Rise in suspected child abuse during lockdown 

  • New findings published by Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel highlight a rise in suspected cases of child abuse resulting in serious incidents
  • The largest increases were seen amongst young children 
  • The total number of serious incident notifications during the first half of 2020-21 increased by 27% in the same period in 2019-20. This follows a decrease between 2018-19 and 2019-20
  • The Children’s Society described the figures as “shocking”
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