From helping with homework to making video calls to gaming, the online world can enable learning, creativity and communication. Technology is advancing and that brings great opportunities, however industry and Government need to be constantly vigilant to the new and changing landscape that our modern digital world brings.
The UK is a world-leader, having developed one of the best models for Government, industry and wider stakeholders to work in partnership to tackle these risks. Countries around the world are looking to the UK to see what has been developed here to harness the transformative power of industry and government coming together to tackle new threats.
UK industry has a track record of working with government, law enforcement and educators to respond to these risks - from working in partnership with specialist organisations such as the WePROTECT Global Alliance and the Internet Watch Foundation to tackle the most challenging issues regarding illegal child abuse images online, to developing technical solutions to help parents manage and keep their children safer online.
However it is critical that education and outreach continues to be essential parts of our work in keeping our children safe online. In the UK we have world-leading cross-sector initiatives where the technology industry actively works with a range of NGOs and organisations such as Internet Matters to help provide the critical thinking, knowledge, resilience, and support children and young people need to be safe online.
The Child Online Safety Group brings critical players together from across the internet-access value chain, working to support a safe environment for children online. By building close working relationships between Government and industry, we enable better mutual understanding and informed policy-making to help to build a culture of tech literacy and encourage children to grow up to be knowledgeable, practical, and empowered digital citizens.
• Promote the benefits of the online world for young people;
• Create greater awareness of the positive work that Industry is doing to promote child online safety;
• Support the development of digital skills and fit-for-purpose policy in this area; and
• Share best practice of Industry activities taking place individually and in collaboration.
Our actions so far:
- "We're all in it together": techUK Deputy CEO Antony Walker says that there is no 'one size fits all' solution in response to Internet Safety Green Paper. techUK will be developing a response to the Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper through the Child Online Safety Group.
- Digital Strategy shows UK a world leader in Child Internet Safety: Digital Strategy highlights the UK’s strong track record in working with the internet industries to drive progress.
- Government Announces Development of Internet Safety Strategy: Government aims to ensure the UK becomes the safest place in the world for young people to go online .
- ComputerWeekly article highlighting the good work of industry, government and the general public in helping affect the critical thinking, knowledge, resilience and support needed to use the internet safely.
- Supporting Safer Internet Day 2017 with an awareness raising message to members from techUK's CEO Julian David and an opinion article highlighting the importance of a culture of tech literacy to encourage children to grow up to be knowledgeable, practical, and empowered digital citizens.
- Guest blog posts included 'Working together to Protect Children' by Julian Ashworth, Director, Group Industry Policy, BT and 'Safer Internet Day 2017 and the Microsoft Digital Civility Index' by Becky Foreman, Director of Corporate Affairs, Microsoft UK
- We responded to the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications’ inquiry on Children and the Internet.
- techUK Deputy CEO highlighted the importance of government, industry and civil society working together to tackle online abuse at the Parliament & Internet Conference alongside Rt Hon Maria Miller MP.
- Promoted the online safety and ‘safety by design’ UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) doc on through our event with Twitter, Super Awesome and Silent Secret.
- Responded to Parliamentary Online Suicide Prevention Call for Evidence and supported Mental Health Awareness Week.
- Julian David, techUK's CEO published an opinion piece on our website on “Why the tech industry must continue to help make the internet safer for our kids”
- Keynote presentation at the Westminster eForum Keynote Seminar: Protecting children and young people online
- Represented the UK tech industry at the 6th annual China-UK Internet Forum in London.
- Champion for the Child Internet Risk Dashboard project to the Prime Minister and international delegates at the London WePROTECT Global Summit.
- Following a request by UKCCIS Executive Board and HM Government, techUK established working groups to promote collaboration and stimulated momentum and innovation across industry on the development of a range of parental control tools.