Neelie KROES
Vice-President of the European Commission

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Protecting kids online: the industry setting new benchmarks for Safer Internet Day 2013

The Internet is a great place for kids to be – somewhere they can play and learn, socialise and explore. Of course there are risks online – just like in the real world. But the fact is you can't hope the Internet will go away: it won't, digital skills are massively important for tomorrow's jobs, and kids need to learn how to go online safely and responsibly. So it's time for us all to work together to promote a better, safer Internet for kids. That's my message for Safer Internet Day 2013. There are many different people who need to help build a better internet for kids. The private sector, in particular, can do a lot: after all, there the ones who often create and run websites, software, networks and devices. Showing that they're "thinking safety" wouldn't just be good for kids – it would be good for their bottom line: many children and parents do worry about this subject, and it's time they saw the private sector as part of the solution, not part of the problem. So I'm delighted that our "Internet coalition" of 31 leading companies, which we set up just over a year ago, has now reported: setting a new online industry benchmark for child protection. And look at how much progress has been committed after one year of collective work across sectors! - Tools to report online abuse or bullying are now becoming universal. - More and more of the devices you see for sale (from computers and mobiles, to games consoles and connected TV sets) will have parental control options. - Age ratings, a long-standing and well-known feature for movies and video games, are starting to appear for apps and online content too – and the coalition will be working further on aligning systems to help this. I will follow closely and make sure these leading companies deliver on their commitment in 2013 and beyond. And I would like to see the whole industry moving in the direction of child safety by default. I hope tomorrow's devices and services will have the tools to build trust, and make it easy for kids to have a safe, fun time online. We've already seen a lot of progress, and I'm confident that will continue. Of course internet safety isn't just for companies : it's everyone's responsibility. From public authorities, to parents and teachers, to children who need to know their rights and responsibilities, and "connect with respect".  That's the theme of today's Safer Internet Day – a network of events across 100 countries in and outside Europe, from competitions to social media campaigns. Check out what's on near you, or let us know what you're doing with Twitter hashtag #SID2013. The Internet — open, free, innovative — offers so many benefits for children and adults. But you're not truly free online unless you're safe. And with simple tools we can ensure the best benefits for everyone.


  • Your concern is most appreciable but look scienc only can not safegaurd. The sole way to have a better world where every one can be in peace and sfety is to return to religion that  teaches how to respect yourself and others. You can produce children, youy set bench marks for them but you not be with them always. It is only the authority bof Almighty God that lives with him/her, to persuade him/her in sub-consionce to be nice to others viz-a-viz him/herself. Science then will be for the betterment of humanity, Otherwise it give you an easy and comfortable life but not a safe worlrd where to live in. Internet is a part of it. Bravo for your intiative
  • In future History books (or maybe: apps) our descendants will learn that in the 21st century it was a EU commissioner named Neelie Kroes who hammered in the 1st coffin nail of the (former free) Internet. Shame on you Mrs Kroes!
  • Online ads & ripoff, trash or political propaganda, that's okay as "digital skills (or did you mean: zombies) are important for the digital new world order". Of course, other things like free speech, dissenting publishing etc. are potentially dangerous for certain people (like you). Connect with respect and to get there we'll establish DPI, eID, INDECT... right? What about fundamental rights, will you abolish them smoothly? Learning from Iran means learning to win! You can always justify anything with abusing, err... protecting children!
  • That's right, kids aren't well protected at all! We really need: Kid friendly highways, kids still cannot safely play there! Kid friendly dynamite factories, very important! Kid friendly booze, they wanna get pissed, too! Your turn, Mrs. Kroes!
  • What is child safety by default? Like Google's YouTube policy on some content, where you have to login with a Google account before being allowed to watch a video? That would mean that everyone watching some video would be tracked. Not a good idea if you want privacy. I'm all for age ratings and enabling parental controls, but online restrictions should not come as defaults, only as optional choices. Most importantly, such restrictions should not violate online privacy. This is a sensitive topic. Mrs. Kroes, I could point you to a few people who are really interested in privacy (law / technology), but I guess you yourself know your way around in this minefield.
  • There is a new startup that is oriented in protecting kids from Social media danger, they have contacted me sometime ago for getting help, but EU might be interested with their project, which would be fair to do so... as it wouldnt be proper to publish their name and profile in public, please contact me if you are willing to at least to listen about their project. (the initiator had before some other succesful startups that by IBM and Mcafee acquired) 

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