It's exactly what you have read. All French children under the age of 16 will have to have parental approval to open an account on Facebook or another social network. It may seem like a creative or casual measure but it is not part of a package of measures being discussed in the French Parliament that seeks to adapt the law to the new reality, in particular as regards privacy and data collection made online by advertisers or the like.
"Joining Facebook will require parental consent for children under the age of 16," Nicole Belloubet, the French justice minister, told reporters. The new privacy law was approved at a weekly meeting of the Justice Cabinet and is now awaiting parliamentary approval to become law.
According to Reuters, the measure will determine the existence of a second checkbox in the registration process, where the legal statement to be accepted by the parents will be attached. The case does not therefore appear to be completely deterrent, but it will certainly be a warning to parents of minors.
It also comes at a curious time since Facebook has just opened part of its platform for under 13. For now, Messenger Kids is only available in the United States and requires parental permission for children to use the application chat. Overall, 13 years is the minimum age for using Facebook or other social platforms, including Snapchat and Instagram.