Today the Government published its response to the consultation on parental internet controls which took place earlier this year. You can read the full response here.
The consultation reveals that 57 per cent of the 757 parents who responded to the consultation were in favour of stricter controls, including 47 per cent who wanted an opt-in system.
However, in total, just one in six of the 3,509 respondents – most of whom were not parents – supported the full opt-in solution. According to media reports two-thirds of the respondents were from the Open Rights Group, which campaigns against default filters to block online pornography.
The report recommends that:
- Internet service providers actively encourage people to switch on parental controls if children are in the household and will be using the internet.
- Internet service providers should actively encourage parents – whether new or existing customers – to switch on parental controls.
- The industry, including retailers and device manufacturers, should work to develop universally-available, family-friendly internet access. All internet-enabled devices should be supplied with the tools to keep children safe as standard.
Ministers will now work with industry, charities and experts to make these recommendations a reality. This process will begin at the board meeting of the UK Council for Children Internet Safety on Monday.
We are delighted that real attention is being paid to children’s online safety and action is now taking place. However we are disappointed that the recommendations fall someway short of the opt-in measure which we, and many other charities and children’s organisations, believe to be the best way to ensure that the majority of children are protected from harmful online material. Our campaign for this vital protection continues and we will let you know the next step – and how you can get involved – in the New Year.