Monday

26th Sep 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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  2. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  3. Martens CentreQuo Vadis Georgia? What to Expect From the Parliamentary Elections. Debate on 29 September
  4. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List
  5. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  6. HuaweiAn Industry-leading ICT Solution Provider and Building a Better World
  7. World VisionUN Refugees Meeting a Wasted Opportunity to Improve the Lives of Millions of Children
  8. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?
  9. YouthProAktivEntrepreneurship, Proactivity, Innovation - Turn Ideas Into Action #IPS2016
  10. GoogleTrimming the Waste-Line: Weaving Circular Economy Principles Into Our Operations
  11. Crowdsourcing Week EuropeDon't Miss the Mega Conference to Master Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding and Innovation! 10% Discount Code CSWEU16
  12. ACCAKaras Report on Access to Finance for SMEs in a Capital Markets Union

Latest News

  1. VW website to inform European consumers about cheating
  2. Barroso had deeper ties to Goldman Sachs
  3. Hungarians to rebel against EU migrant quotas
  4. Turkey has stopped me from going home, says Erdogan critic
  5. Climate change and migration vote on the Agenda This WEEK
  6. Irish and Polish people march for abortion
  7. EU admits 'unrealistic' to close TTIP deal this year
  8. LGBT rights at stake in Georgia election