Nearly 30 leading tech firms are teaming with the European Commission (EC) to bolster child safety online, identifying five key areas where improvements are necessary.
Big names including Apple, Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Nokia are among the 28 firms signed up to the EC program, which will focus on developing reporting tools, age-appropriate privacy settings, methods to quickly remove child abuse material, and wider use of content classification and parental controls.
The Commission claims most children start using the Web aged seven
years, and that 38% of ‘connected’ nine to twelve year-olds have a profile on social networks, despite age restrictions imposed by the sites. Mobile phones and games consoles are adding to the problem, with 30% of children browsing the Web from a handset, and 26% a gaming machine.
Neelie Kroes, the Commission’s vice president for the Digital Agenda, says the collaboration “should provide both children and parents with transparent and consistent protection tools to make the most of the online world.”
The Commissioner notes that companies in the scheme are already front runners in implementing child protection measures, but said the joint effort will set “the pace for the whole industry,” and empower children online.