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EC Keeps Watching Brief on Mobile Content Safety

David Murphy

Mobile operators serving 550 million customers in the
European Union are putting in place safeguards to ensure that children can
safely access content on mobile phones, as part of a programme coordinated by GSM Europe,  the European arm of the GSM Association.


One year after the introduction of GSM Europes
European Framework
for Safer Mobile Use by Younger Teenagers and Children,

self-regulatory codes of conduct are now in place in 21 countries of the
European Union. GSM Europe expects similar codes to be introduced in the
remaining six countries of the EU, as
24 mobile
operators and content providers covering all the Member States have signed the
framework.


The framework sets out a number of measures, such as
access control mechanisms,
classification of commercial content, and the raising awareness and education,
which operators should implement to
ensure that children can safely access
content on their mobile phones
.


As mobile broadband networks proliferate, enabling
Europeans to easily access a rich selection of content via their handsets, our
industry is moving in a timely fashion to ensure the necessary safeguards are
in place to enable parents to have confidence in their children using these
mobile services safely, says GSM Europe Chair, Kaisu Karvala.


Viviane Reding,
EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, says that  GSME and
European mobile operators should be congratulated for the work they have done
so far in trying to establish national codes of conduct for safer mobile use by
children and young people, but says that more needs to be done.


Mobile operators have taken an important step towards
making online technologies safer for children and enhancing transparency, she
says. In some countries, there is, however, still substantial work to be done
to ensure that these principles are really put into practice. I will continue
to follow this very closely, because practical measures and concrete
implementation are what really matter to children and their parents. I strongly
encourage mobile operators to cooperate in this implementation process with
non-profit organisations and other stakeholders engaged in child safety. I will
come back to this issue this autumn to see whether further measures by the
Commission are required.


The
mobile industry is calling on EU policy-makers to provide support
in achieving the objectives of the framework, in particular, the development
and distribution of educational material to teachers and parents.

Europe

s mobile operators will also regularly review the
national codes of conduct to ensure they remain fit for purpose.

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