Companies join forces to protect children

On average, young Europeans start using the Internet at the age of seven. Despite the minimum age required to register for social networks, 38 % young people aged 9 to 12 admit to having such a profile. At the invitation of the European Commission, a coalition of 28 companies was set up to “better adapt the internet to the needs of children and make it safer”.

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On average, young Europeans start using the Internet at the age of seven. Despite the minimum age required to register for social networks, 38 % young people aged 9 to 12 admit to having such a profile. At the invitation of the European Commission, a coalition of 28 companies was set up to “better adapt the internet to the needs of children and make it safer”.

Their declaration of intent predicts that actions will be implemented quickly over the next few months to better protect young Internet users. Companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Nintendo, particularly want to create tools to easily report content and contact harmful to children. They also want to set privacy settings that take into account the needs of different age groups. The classification of content according to age will be standardized and easily understandable for parents. Parental control tools will be more easily accessible and the coalition intends to promote them. Finally, companies want to improve cooperation with law enforcement agencies and be proactive in removing child pornography material from the Internet.

“This new coalition should allow children, but also their parents, to have transparent and coherent protection tools, thanks to which they will be able to make the most of the online world. The founding members of the coalition are already at the forefront of child safety on the internet. By working together, we will set the pace for the entire sector and create the ideal conditions to give children maximum autonomy when they are online, ”said Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, in a commentary. communicated.

Although the initiative is European, it will certainly have repercussions for young Internet users on this side of the Atlantic. Last fall a survey made by the Marie-Vincent Foundation and Cybertip.ca revealed that 80 % of parents felt that the Internet was a source of danger in terms of the sexual exploitation of young people and that less than 50 % raised the issue with their children. Three-quarters of the respondents did not use any parental control software.

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About the Author

Nathalie Cote
Nathalie is a journalist. His favorite themes are family, education, health, consumption, the environment and social phenomena. She contributes in particular to the newspaper La Presse.

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