On 3 December Sabine Verheyen, MEP and EIF Steering Committee Member, invited EIF members and friends to debate Online Child Protection. In her opening, Verheyen remarked that the old fashioned tool – content blocking – is not working efficiently anymore and can be easily overcome by smart digital natives. She stressed that there is a need for cooperation between government institutions, teachers and parents to seek news alternatives on ensuring a safe environment online.
Kristin Heitmann, mother, teacher and a founder of Appp Media, a company developing apps for children, was first to take the floor. She called for more positive content online as well as the use of schools as education centers to teach kids about how to protect themselves online.
Dr. Joachim Kind, Head of Press and Communication at Klicksafe, presented in detail a national German campaign on safe internet use for children, which involves parents and teachers. A signature campaign commercial, ‘Where’s Klaus’, quickly spread in Europe and beyond:
María José Cantarino, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Telefonica, took the floor next. She underlined the importance of empowering children and teachers on how to benefit the most from using ICT. She also presented Telefonica’s initiative in Spain - Talentum schools (http://talentumschools.com), which aims to teach children about ICT opportunities as well as make them think about the digital footprint that they leave on the internet.
Aleyne Johnson, Head of Government Relations at Samsung Electronics UK, also use this opportunity to present their safe internet for children initiatives in the UK.
Otto Vollmers, CEO of the Voluntary Self-Monitoring of Multimedia Service Providers (FSM e. V.), in his short comment invited everyone to take a look at the mechanism of how child protection online is (or is not) being implemented.