Progress report on “Better internet for Kids” Coalition between tech CEOs and European Commission

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CEOs and senior board members from the world’s digital, media and tech companies have met in Brussels to report directly to Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes on how they are making the internet a better, and safer, place for kids, through the work of the CEO Coalition set up by the Vice-President at the end of 2011.

Children now go online at very young ages, and the CEO Coalition has been working on: strong, simple reporting tools for users who experience problems; a choice of age-appropriate privacy setting; wider use of content classification so users and their parents know what to expect while surfing online; wider availability and use of parental controls; and more effective takedown systems for child sexual abuse material.

Neelie Kroes said: “The Coalition has delivered great concrete results on five items, but we cannot stop here. Children start using the internet from the age of seven, on average, and the age is getting lower each year. They need quality content online, and skills and tools for using the Internet safely. Parents need support. And we are all better off if companies play a leading role in this effort.”

Speaking in the meeting yesterday, CEOs repeated the message that when children’s issues are concerned, it is co-operation and not competition that counts. They set out a number of areas for further collaboration:

  1. Sharing all their educational material via an online platform so that material produced by one company can be reused, free-of-charge, by any other organisation throughout the EU

  2. Developing a common branding or logo for initiatives across Europe, to scale up efforts and maximise awareness

  3. Involving the hundreds of thousands of people who work for Coalition companies in education and outreach to children. This includes through encouraging staff to talk about how to be safe online in their children’s schools.

  4. Working together to raise awareness amongst parents

  5. Broadening best practices beyond the Coalition, to join forces across the whole Internet.  Here to read more.

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