EC targets online child safety improvements

The European Commission (EC) is calling for a coordinated approach from the telecoms industry, national governments and providers of social media services to improve protection of children and teenagers online.

Action is needed to address variances in member state’s online protection policies, which the Commission argues makes it difficult to roll out region-wide child friendly services and security products. It proposes the industry adopt measures that stimulate production of online educational content, offer age-appropriate content, safety classes in schools, improve reporting mechanisms for inappropriate and harmful content, and cut child pornography.

“[K]ids need simple, transparent and consistent internet tools, and the knowledge and skills to use them,” digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes says.

Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding agrees, noting that the “internet was originally designed for adults,” and that the new initiative will help “protect children’s rights, including protection against violence.”