InfoCommons

Commission calls on mobile operators to continue to improve child safety policies

Posted in child protection, internet safety, mobile technology by coda on May 1, 2009
  • tags: digital_safety

    • “The new report of the mobile phone industry association shows that mobile operators have started to take seriously their responsibilities to keep children safe when using phones,” said EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding. “However, I expect that national codes will be signed very soon now in the four countries where they do not exist yet – this is the case in Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, and Luxembourg – and I also expect the Belgian code to be significantly revised. Protection of minors is not a luxury, but indispensable if new communication technologies want to be accepted in our European societies. Mobile operators still need to be more ambitious to make measures for the purpose of protecting minors more effective in all European countries, and also to make content classification more transparent. The 12 operators who still provide adult content without any access control must fix this situation. I reserve the right to come back to this situation in September this year to see whether further action needs to be taken.”

Good governance issues: 50% of 10 year-old, 87% of 13 year-old and 95% of 16 year-old children in the EU have a mobile phone, but half of European parents worry mobile phone use might expose their children to sexually and violently explicit images (51%) or bullying by other children (49%), according to a survey. The European Commission today called on mobile operators to do more to keep children safe while using mobile phones by putting in place all the measures in the voluntary code of conduct, signed by 26 mobile operators in 2007. A report just published by the GSM Association, the trade body of the mobile phone industry, showed that national self-regulatory codes based on the framework agreement brokered by the European Commission now exist in 22 Member States, 90% of them in line with the 2007 agreement, and 80% of operators have put in place measures to control child access to adult content.
The report “Safer Mobile Use by Younger Teenagers and Children” can be found here.

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