Industry standards for safeguarding children

Sophia Antipolis, 11th June 2007

ETSI is set to make a major contribution to safeguarding young child users* of ICT products and services. In a report to the 'Safer Internet Programme' of the European Commission, ETSI Technical Committee Human Factors (HF) is calling on all industry players to become more 'child aware'.

One of the driving themes of ETSI HF's work is to reverse the 'usual trend' of scare stories about the harm communications technology is doing to young children by highlighting the benefits to young children of ICT, while at the same time producing ETSI standards and technical specifications that can deal effectively with the negative outcomes experienced by a relatively small number of young children.

ETSI HF is drawing advice and contributions from Non Governmental Organizations, Internet Service Providers, National Governments as well as ETSI's 700 member organizations.

On the 20th June 2007, Anne Clarke - representing ETSI TC HF - will be addressing the European Commission's Safer Internet Forum, in Luxembourg, to seek further support from stakeholders for new industry standards that specify child awareness in the design process for ICT equipment.

Anne Clarke, who leads ETSI's work on these issues and prepared the ETSI ChildAware proposal for the European Commission said:

'There are enormous positive benefits for young children from becoming competent users of digital communications and media'.

Ms. Clarke, also acknowledged that 'Young children live in a media saturated society, and the industry must provide better safeguards for young child users, especially in their earliest formative years.'

In facing the need for the ICT industry to be more child aware and in working actively with the European Commission and other stakeholders, ETSI Members are set to make a major contribution to child safety in the new 'connected' world.

*Young child users are those under 12 years of age.

[END]

Notes to editors

Essential reading

Read the text of ETSI HF's submission to the European Commission's 'Safer Internet and Online Technologies for Children' enquiry.

ETSI Technical Report 102 133 'Human Factors (HF); Access to ICT by young people: issues and guidelines'. February 2003 http://pda.etsi.org/pda/queryform.asp

ETSI Guide 202 423 'Human Factors (HF); Guidelines for the design and deployment of ICT products and services used by children', October 2005 available at http://pda.etsi.org/pda/queryform.asp

ETSI White Paper 'Young Children and ICT - current issues in the provision of ICT technologies and services for young children' is available at www.etsi.org/etsi_radar/whitepaper/home.htm 

ETSI HF Special Task Force (STF 323) & Child Aware contact details:

Anne M Clarke
ETSI STF323/ChildAware Project Leader
[email protected]
+4478 337 31582 

About ETSI

ETSI produces globally applicable standards for Information & Communications Technologies including fixed, mobile, radio, broadcast, internet... and several other areas, and unites almost 700 member organizations from 63 countries, including manufacturers, network operators, administrations, service providers, research bodies and users - in fact, all the key players in the ICT Standards arena.

For more information: http://www.etsi.org/

About the Safer Internet Forum 2006 - Luxembourg, 21 June

A plenary session of the Safer Internet Forum, open to all interested, will focus on two topics: 'Children's use of new media' and 'Blocking access to illegal content'.

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/sip/si_forum/forum_june_2006/index_en.htm

For further information about this news release, please contact:

Kevin FLYNN,
ETSI Press co-ordinator
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 94 42 58
E-mail: [email protected]