In October, Government asked techUK to be the Champion for the #WeProtect - Child Internet Risk Dashboard project following techUK's long-standing engagement with UKCCIS in leading three internet child safety working groups and our support of the joint UK-US Taskforce established after the Prime Minister's child online protection summit in 2013.
The Child Internet Risk Dashboard project is intended to stimulate the development of an online tool that will provide parents with a summary of their children's online activity, and facilitate discussions with children to encourage safe internet practices.
We have investigated the potential value of such a dashboard and how it could complement existing parental control tools available from ISPs, mobile operators, content aggregators, manufacturers and software providers. In the first instance, we are working with a small number of engaged companies to investigate how such a tool could be framed.
Technical tools play a crucial role in supporting a safe internet environment. These need to reflect the diverse and fast changing nature of internet access - involving a variety of devices from TVs to PCs, laptops, tablets and smart phones and a range of platforms from mobile networks to home broadband and public wifi hotspots. In terms of technology tools, there is no 'silver bullet'. What is needed is a tool box to suit the diversity of usage. A wide range of parental control tools have already been made available by industry - often at no cost. The dashboard providing a summary of their children's online activity could be of value for parents and guardians and we are bringing industry together on how best to take this forward.
One area of consensus among industry, academia, and the third sector is that technology tools, as crucial as they are, are only part of the solution. The ultimate objective should be to work together to build in children the confidence, resilience and capabilities to ensure a positive, safe and secure online experience. Education and awareness is crucial in this. Achieving 'scale' at a national level is a challenge and co-ordination across the various agencies and organisations is key and active leadership from Government is vital.
techUK's Raj Sivalingam, Executive Director, Telecoms and Spectrum and Martin Christopher (Child Internet Risk Dashboard Programme Manager from Ernst and Young) outlined the work on the Child Internet Rish Dashboard and the role of technology tools in general, to the Prime Minister and international delegates at the #WePROTECT 'tech Village'.
Furtherinformation regarding the WeProtect Child Internet Risk Dashboard project will be circulated shortly.
Representatives from over fifty countries, leading technology companies, law enforcement agencies, and charities joined the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary at a two day summit in London to discuss the growing problem of online child abuse.
The delegates signed up to a range of actions and unveiled ground-breaking technological initiatives, which will make it much more difficult for criminals who seek to exploit the almost limitless potential of the digital age to abuse children for sexual purposes.
The Statements of Action agreed at the #WeProtect Summit are available for: Combined Industry, Leaders of countries, law enforcement agencies and international organisations, and Civil society organisations.
techUK fully supports the aims of the #WeProtect Children Online summit and only through international collaboration with governments, law enforcement agencies, industry and civil society organisations can we tackle this global issue. Technical tools play a crucial role in supporting a safe internet environment, however the ultimate objective should be to work together to build in children the confidence, resilience and capabilities to ensure a positive, safe and secure online experience.