This year we celebrated Safer Internet Day (SID) on 11 February.
It started as an EU project initiative back in 2004, and it has become a global success story involving 170 countries. Its slogan, ‘Together for a better internet’, united millions of us who believe that every child should be able to have fun safely online, whether learning, connecting with family or friends, playing games, watching films, or enjoying the many other benefits the internet brings.
To make the digital world safer, and to generate positive change, we need to join forces. In celebration of SID 2020, Thierry Breton, Commissioner for the Internal Market, together with five other Commissioners, confirmed this shared responsibility in a joint statement: "we will continue to work on making the Internet safer. This is an important contribution to making Europe fit for the digital age".
Through the European Strategy for a Better internet for Children, the Commission puts this commitment into action; working with many partners to support children’s online safety and empowerment. This year, during Safer Internet Day, I had the pleasure of seeing empowerment in action: young people taking an active role to improve their online experience through a Youth Pledge for a Better Internet.
In a lively event at the Berlaymont, a group of six brilliant Better Internet for Kids Ambassadors challenged representatives from online platforms and other firms present to provide more child-friendly and age-appropriate information about their terms and conditions and use of personal data.
Representatives from Deutsche Telekom, Disney, Facebook, Google, Lego, Liberty Global, Super RTL/Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, Samsung, Snap, Sulake, and Twitter – all members of the Alliance to better protect minors online – confirmed that they will work with these young people to produce clear information about their services. We will see the fruits of this dialogue later this year when we host the Safer Internet Forum in November. Stay tuned for the results – my expectations are high!
Safer Internet Day 2020 might be over but, through our personal actions in the digital world, we can all make sure that every day is a safer internet day.