Companies Agree To Adopt New International Guidelines To Protect Children Online
The announcement follows months of work between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement teams from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. If you or anybody you know are affected by anything touched on within this article, follow the links to our various support services or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to start using Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
A new set of guidelines has been agreed upon by delegates from five countries to address the abuse and exploitation of children online. The guidelines, or ‘Voluntary Principles’ were developed in consultation with Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Roblox, Snap and Twitter after all six companies agreed to work together in protecting young people.
The announcement follows months of work between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and law enforcement teams from the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, who met with leading technology partners at the Five Country Ministerial Digital Industry Roundtable in July 2019 and agreed that immediate upscaling of a global response to ensure the safety of all children was needed.
“I am confident the Voluntary Principles will help us move forward our goal of creating a world where children can grow up free from sexual exploitation. The Voluntary Principles set new norms across the private sector, incorporating child safety throughout a company’s operations and properly considering the needs of victim-survivors.”
Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
As a result, the five-country collaboration, also known as ‘Five Eyes’ has produced a document called the Voluntary Principles to Counter Online Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, in consultation with the six partner technology companies and a broad range of experts from industry, civil society and academia.
The 11 voluntary principles in the document provide a common and consistent framework to guide the digital industry in its efforts to combat online child abuse and include themes such as preventing abusive material, targeting grooming behaviors, working together to address emerging threats and adopting specialized approaches for young people.
“Collaborations between technology companies and law enforcement is essential when dealing with risks to young people. Working internationally to develop preventative and responsive solutions to online abuse is exactly what is required to make a positive and lasting impact.”
Dan Raisbeck, Co-founder, The Cybersmile Foundation
Many of the points raised in the guidelines are based on existing industry efforts to increase the safety and wellbeing of young and vulnerable internet users. It is hoped that the agreed principles will add momentum to the existing efforts being made and will also enhance more collective and productive collaborations.
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