Facebook and Instagram face a ban on letting under-18s “like” posts on their platforms while Snapchat could be prevented from allowing the age group to build up “streaks”, under new rules proposed by the UK’s data watchdog.

It believes the tools encourage users to share more personal data and spend more time on apps than desired.

Likes help build up profiles of users’ interests while streaks encourage them to send photos and videos daily.

The proposal is part of a 16-rule code.

To ensure its success, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) says that online services must also adopt “robust” age-verification systems.

Location tracking

In addition to calling for an end to children being exposed to so-called “nudge techniques”, the ICO advocates internet firms make the following changes among others for their

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