Friday

26th Aug 2016

Focus

Online giants to lead reform on child cyber security

  • (Photo: European Commission)

A group of 25 of the world’s leading information and communication technology (ICT) firms have joined forces in a bid to improve cyber security for children in the EU.

The ICT Coalition for a Safer Internet for Children and Young People Thursday (19 January) launched its paper which it claims will focus on developing products and services to enhance the safety of children and young people online.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The coalition, which includes social media giants Facebook and Google, as well as telecoms firms Nokia, Vodafone, Telefonica and Orange, marks the latest in a string of pledges by the ICT industry to improve cyber security, following the launch of the European Commission-backed "A better place for kids” campaign in December.

The move by industry follows rising concerns among parents and policy-makers about a lack of effective regulation of the web. In particular, there are concerns about the capacity for on-line bullying and grooming on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In 2010, the Internet Watch Foundation identified over 16,700 instances of child sexual abuse content on different web pages worldwide.

Peter Davies, chief executive of the UK-based Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre has said that the "most significant contribution (to tackling online abuse) would come from large corporations." He also revealed that Facebook and Bebo have both been working with CEOP to introduce so-called panic buttons.

In their paper, the ICT coalition promised to report back on the development of a “report trigger” or panic buttons by mid-2012, which it hopes will be an easy to use procedure for reporting, harmful content recognisable by parents and children and usable across the Internet. They have also promised to develop programmes and single-click buttons or icons to increase parental control.

In their statement, the coalition stated that they wanted to “ensure that children and young people obtain the greatest benefit from new technologies, while avoiding the challenges and risks which are of concern to people worldwide.”

Digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes praised the initiatives saying they were a clear sign that the ICT industry is “committed to ensuring real and consistent solutions to protect and empower children online.”

However, the latest pledge by the ICT industry is still unlikely to persuade Kroes to drop commission plans to beef-up cyber security. In her speech to the Safer Internet Forum last October, commissioner Kroes told delegates that she would publish plans for a European strategy on internet security in 2012 including more resources for a European Safer Internet Programme.

Although she has so far not committed herself to making legislative proposals, her report is also expected to look at co-ordinated reporting mechanisms for abusive content, bullying and grooming, as well as parental control mechanisms in internet-connected devices.

Italy earthquake is test for Renzi

Italian prime minister is expected to present a quick reconstruction plan and request more budget flexibility from the EU after this week's tragic earthquake.

News in Brief

  1. Greeks paid €1bn more in taxes in June
  2. Greek minister denounces EU letter on former statistics chief
  3. Turks seeking asylum in Greece may cause diplomatic row
  4. Merkel becomes digital resident of Estonia
  5. Report: VW will compensate US dealers with €1bln
  6. EU mulls making Google pay news media for content
  7. Sweden to name new EU ambassador
  8. Deutsche Boerse and LSE request EU merger approval

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students from 50 countries to China for Much-Needed ICT Training
  2. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  3. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  4. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  5. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  6. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  7. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  8. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  9. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  10. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  11. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey
  12. Counter BalanceThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline: An Opportunity or a Scam in the Making for Albania?