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Child Safety and Mobile Phones Ana Luisa Rotta INHOPE President. EC Forum Luxembourg, 14 June 2005. Presentation. INHOPE Working Group on Personal Mobile Devices PROTEGELES Study on “ CHILD SAFETY AND CHILDREN’S MOBILE PHONE HABITS” Contact. Child Safety Issues and IMP.

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child safety and mobile phones ana luisa rotta inhope president

Child Safety and Mobile PhonesAna Luisa RottaINHOPE President

EC ForumLuxembourg, 14 June 2005

  • INHOPE Working Group on Personal Mobile Devices
  • Contact

EU Forum

child safety issues and imp
Child Safety Issues and IMP
  • The recent worldwide release of Internet-enabled mobile phones (IMP) presents a range of new challenges for INHOPE hotlines.
  • The ability of IMPs to connect to the Internet gives rise to potential child safety and content management concerns.
  • The new generation devices are no longer mobile phones only, they also work as web browsers, instant messengers, game stations and e-mail terminals.
  • INHOPE hotlines are currently looking into strategies to increase safety standards for underage users using IMP, related services and material generally considered illegal through its Working Group on Mobile Devices.

EU Forum

child safety issues and imp4
Child Safety Issues and IMP
  • Dangers that IMPs and associated services pose to young users are similar to risks posed by children’s use of the ‘fixed’ Internet:
    • Meeting exploitative adults
    • Tracking and stalking by predatory adults
    • Pornography (adult content, and illegal content including child generated pornography using camera phones)
    • Grooming and Bullying (threatening SMS, chat and MMS)

However, access via a mobile greatly increases these dangers due to the private & personal nature of the device (less supervision by parents) and the fact that it is always on.

EU Forum

child safety issues and imp5
Child Safety Issues and IMP
  • Camera phones:
    • The built in digital cameras can instantly transmit photos/video from phone to phone, via e-mail, or to Web sites. This means that the child cannot only see inappropriate material, but they could send it as well.
    • There is growing concern over paedophiles persuading children with camera phones to take and transmit photographs of themselves.
  • Global positioning & tracking features:
    • Phones are also being equipped with "geo location" systems make it possible for others to identify exactly where the user is located.
    • This presents a double-edged sword that on one hand provides parents/authorities with information in case of emergency and paedophiles with a tool to target and meet children.

EU Forum

inhope wg personal mobile devices
INHOPE WG – Personal Mobile Devices
  • Actions
    • Survey amongst hotlines in order to identify country profiles of mobile use.
      • Most Hotlines already have contacts to MNOs, but no formal procedures for dealing with illegal internet content available via PMDs.
    • Created a guide to handling illegal content available via PMDs
      • Generic template for a guide to procedures for hotlines dealing with illegal internet content available via personal mobile devices.
    • T-mobile expert speaker members meeting (May 2005)

EU Forum

protegeles study
  • Study commissioned by the Child Ombudsman in Madrid.
  • 2.000 interviews carried out in schools and entertainment areas with children/adolescents from 11 to 17 years of age.
  • Objectives:

Describe the patterns of use and consumption of the mobile phone by minors in Spain.

Describe the level of safety of minors in the use of mobile telephony identifying possible situations of conflict.

EU Forum

protegeles study8

Main conclusions:

  • The mobile phone has become an entertainment instrument for minors who rarely use it to place traditional phone conversations. It is mainly used to play, take/send pictures, etc.
  • SMS has proven to be the option mostly used by minors to communicate, creating their own language different from traditional written Spanish.
  • Minors are becoming important consumers of products related to mobile phones (terminals, melodies, screen savers, etc).
  • Minors usually inherit their parents old terminals. 78% of those interviewed have changed terminals at least once, while 24% have done it 4 times.
  • The great majority of minors use pre-paid systems 69% as opposed to formal contracts with operators.

EU Forum

protegeles study9

Conflict situations:

  • 18% of those interviewed have experienced sexual harassment through the mobile phone.
  • 68% of those interviewed have received un-solicited messages in their mobile phones (some of these messages are related to gambling, lotteries, etc).
  • 20% have admitted to using their mobile phones to send threatening and insulting messages (in most cases to class mates – bullying).

EU Forum

protegeles study10

Conflict situations:

  • The great majority of minors have received photographs in their mobile terminals and use the phone to exchange photos with friends. However 9% of them have received pornographic photos on their mobile phones.
  • One in every three (38%) have admitted to feeling uneasy and sometimes even anxious when they are forced to do without their mobile phones.
  • A small percentage of those interviewed (11%) have admitted to lying, deceiving and sometimes even subtracting small quantities of money from their parents in order to recharge their mobile phones.

EU Forum

contact details
Contact Details

See website !

Download PROTEGELES Study at:


Ana Luisa Rotta

INHOPE President

[email protected]

[email protected]

EU Forum