Between 28 June and 6 September 2012, the ministers from the Department for Education and the Home Office who co-chaired the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) Executive Board consulted UKCCIS members and the wider public on their views on parental controls.
Further details on this consultation are available in the associated press notice.
Over 3500 individuals and organisations replied to the consultation and gave a wide range of views. The Government has now published its response to the consultation and set out a number of ways in which it would like to see children’s online safety improved.
The Government’s proposals include a new approach to parental controls by the internet service providers, and for all businesses in the information and communication industries, including retailers and device manufacturers, to develop universally-available family-friendly internet access which is easy to use.
Ministers will also explore with UKCCIS what more can be done to: improve online protections for the more vulnerable children; define inappropriate content and improve the means for identifying it online; establish clear, simple benchmarks and classifications for parental control solutions; and encourage a deeper understanding of the reasons why parental controls are not taken up by more parents.
Additionally, ministers will ask UKCCIS to investigate how a person’s age can be verified effectively in order to limit children’s access to harmful content.
Full response and consultation findings are available on this page.
The UKCCIS Executive Board will be discussing the consultation findings at its meeting on 17 December 2012. Notes of that meeting will appear here in due course.
The UKCCIS Executive Board is now co-chaired by Edward Timpson, the Minister for Children and Families, and Jeremy Browne, the Minister for Crime Prevention. Ed Vaizey, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, also attends Executive Board meetings.
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Parents and businesses are being asked whether automatic online blocks should be introduced to protect children from adult and harmful websites, in a discussion paper published today by ministers.