Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Self-regulation for a Better Internet for Kids

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Self-regulation is one of the instruments of the European Strategy to create a better Internet for Children.
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They way children use the Internet and mobile technologies has changed dramatically in the past years. At the same time, the internet can open a wide range of opportunities for youngsters when used safely and responsibly. In order to ensure that children, parents and teachers have access to the right tools and information for a safe use of the internet and new technologies, we support industry self-regulation. This enables industry to create a system by which they can deal rapidly with any security challenges that may arise.

Some self-regulatory initiatives have already been taken, with our support, by the industry at European level.

CEO coalition to make the Internet a better place for kids

The CEO coalition, launched in December 2011, is a cooperative voluntary intervention designed to respond to emerging challenges arising from the diverse ways in which young Europeans go online. Companies signatories to the Coalition committed to take positive action to make the internet a safer place for kids.

Companies signatories to the Coalition committed to take positive action throughout 2012 in 5 areas:

  1. Simple and robust reporting tools for users
  2. Age-appropriate privacy settings
  3. Wider use of content classification
  4. Wider availability and use of parental controls
  5. Effective takedown of child sexual abuse material

The work plan of the Coalition, annexed to the Statement of Purpose, contains deadlines and performance indicators for each of these action points. One year after its launch, the CEO Coalition has made its first recommendations to make the internet a better and safer place for kids.

Signatory companies: Apple, BSkyB, BT, Dailymotion, Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, France Telecom - Orange, Google, Hyves, KPN, Liberty Global, LG Electronics, Mediaset, Microsoft, Netlog, Nintendo, Nokia, Opera Software, Research In Motion, RTL Group, Samsung, Skyrock, Stardoll, Sulake, Telefonica, TeliaSonera, Telecom Italia, Telenor Group, Tuenti, Vivendi and Vodafone.

The Safer Social Networking Principles for the EU

The Safer Social Networking Principles are a self-regulatory agreement signed by the major social networking services providers active in Europe, which have committed to implement measures to ensure the safety of minors on their services.

The adoption of the Principles is the result of the Social Networking Task Force, convened in 2008. 18 of Europe's major social networks as well as researchers and child welfare organizations were invited to discuss ways to improve the safety of children using social networks. The objective was the development of a set of guidelines for use of social networks by youngsters, to be adopted voluntarily by the European industry.

A commitment was reached to set guiding principles for safer social networking, which have been signed by 21 companies.

The full text of the Safer Social Networking Principles can be found here.

European Framework for Safer Mobile Use by Younger Teenagers and Children

The European Framework is the result of discussions held in a High Level Group, which sets out a series of measures the signatories commit to implement on their services thoughout Europe, including:

  • access control for adult content;
  • awareness raising campaigns for parents and children
  • the classification of commercial content according to national standards of decency and appropriateness
  • the fight against illegal content on mobiles.

National codes have been signed also based on the European Framework