Telecom Italia focuses on child protection Telecom Italia focuses on child protection

Telecom Italia focuses on child protection

- + Text size
Print

Projects aimed at the online protection of digital natives were presented at the ICT Coalition Forum.

One child/teenager (aged between 9 and 16) in two has a smartphone, and one in five owns a tablet. The data arising from the “The Net Children Go Mobile"  (in Italian) project show that 46% own a smartphone and 41% use it every day to surf the Internet, whereas 20% have a tablet and 23% use it for Web connection. Almost three young people in 4 are aware that they have the problem of being addicted to their smartphone, always wanting to be logged in and online.

The study, presented at the annual conference of the International Communication Association of Seattle, included the countries of Italy, Denmark, Portugal, Great Britain, Belgium, Ireland and Romania, and involved 3,500 children and teenagers.

Digital natives have developed technological and communication skills due to the fact that they have been using smartphones and tablets since a very early age. Young people are already beginning to feel a strong sense of attachment to their smartphone or tablet, which is perceived as a useful tool for strengthening relationships with friends and relatives.

In response to this social phenomenon, the role of families, schools and companies is becoming increasingly important. Telecommunication companies, such as Telecom Italia, train and inform young people and families about the risks they may encounter when connected to the Web.

Ongoing protection

A recent educational campaign entitle "Una vita da social"  (The life of a social networker) involving Telecom Italia and the Italian State Police was intended to inform young people of the risks they faced when surfing the Internet.

The campaign, together with other projects, was created to deal with the many reports of online cyberbullying and child abuse that are affecting the virtual world.

Telecom Italia contribution

Telecom Italia focuses on the issue of child protection and implements initiatives to respond to hidden Web threats.

At the Forum in April, organised by European companies in the ICT sector, Telecom Italia reported the progress achieved in the field of child protection.

A large number of companies came face to face at the forum, also attended by European dignitaries, reporting and discussing the progress made with regard to the key issues of the ICT Coalition and the projects to put into action.

Since 2011, Telecom Italia has been a member of the ICT Coalition for a Safer Internet for Children and Young People, the first European initiative led by the telecommunications industry in the field of child security and protection online.

Up to now, the ICT Coalition has brought together about 25 companies in the ICT sector, which have agreed on a number of guiding principles for the development of products and services designed to improve and promote online security for children and young people in Europe.

The initiative, which establishes a roadmap for companies, aims to promote the development and use of best practices in key areas in order to protect children. A special focus is given to guidelines concerning contents, parental control mechanisms and measures for dealing with abuse/misuse, abusive and/or illegal contents for children and personal data control.

The main goal of the companies is to make young Internet users in Europe understand, through educational and information campaigns, how important informed use of the online world is so that they are aware of the potential risks involved and can avoid them.

The first steps to be taken in order to prevent any unpleasant situations are providing information and learning about potential risks.

After the Forum, a report, compiled by an external auditor, was published on the compliance of each company in the Coalition with the commitments undertaken.