UK, June 18, 2013: Specialist training company Moderation Gateway today announced the first online moderation foundation training course to offer a certified moderation qualification. The pioneering course aims to set new standards for moderation best practice and to help ensure that UGC moderators – both new and experienced – are equipped with the necessary skills needed for everyday moderation tasks. Recent events have shown that human moderation of online user generated content (UGC) is vital in both protecting children’s safety online and brands’ reputation.
UK, June 18, 2013: AVG Technologies NV, provider of internet and mobile security to 150 million active users, today announced that it is sponsoring the upcoming Child Internet Safety Summit. Recognised worldwide as the event that brings together senior officials from government, business and academia to discuss online child protection, the annual summit will be held on July 11th in Westminster, London. The Child Internet Safety Summit will address the urgent concerns faced by parents and teachers in the UK and Europe in relation to child abuse online. The day-long event will be attended by approximately 300 education and online safety professionals and will offer keynote sessions from industry leaders including Claire Perry, the UK government advisor on childhood; and John Carr, the UK government advisor on online child safety; among others. AVG Technologies will deliver a keynote session at 11.20am on July 11th, to discuss the barrage of online threats facing children, and the action needed to ensure their online safety and privacy. Additionally, AVG executives Siobhan MacDermott, Chief Policy Officer; and Jim Brock, VP of Privacy Products, will go on to host an interactive privacy seminar which offers attendees firsthand access to industry-leading experts on online privacy and security policies.
UK, June 18, 2013: Technology giants and the Government have agreed a new approach to tackling online child abuse images with a beefed-up role for the internet watchdog. Culture Secretary Maria Miller said ISPs and computing and technology firms had agreed a “fundamental change” to the way the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) works, with the industry-funded body set to adopt a role actively seeking out and blocking child abuse images. The main UK internet service providers (ISPs) have agreed to provide extra funding for the IWF, understood to amount to £1 million, to help it take on the extra duties. Under current arrangements the IWF only acts on content that has been reported to it rather than proactively seeking out illegal images.
USA, June 18, 2013: Enough Is Enough’s Internet Safety 101 PBS Television series, “Alicia’s Story, Confessions of a Predator, Grooming and Risky Behaviors” was awarded an Emmy in the category Information/Instruction – Program/Special at the National Capitol/Chesapeake Bay Emmy Awards Gala held June 15, 2013 in Baltimore. The original, four-part DVD series was produced by Enough Is Enough President, Donna Rice Hughes, along with Mari Bonnemaison, Brooks Moore, Marissa Arbona-Ruiz and associate producer Cris Clapp Logan. Rice Hughes also received an Emmy nomination in the Program Host/Moderator category for the series. Emmy award-winning PBS Producer/Director Paul Roberts joined Rice Hughes as producer for the PBS version. “Enough Is Enough’s Internet Safety 101 program aligns perfectly with our public television birthright to educate and inform our audiences in a relevant way. Producing this series for public television distribution has been an opportunity of a lifetime and I thank Enough Is Enough for this opportunity along with our lead sponsor, the Verizon Foundation of Virginia,” stated Paul Roberts.
USA, June 19, 2013: Microsoft’s Don Mattrick has released a full statement confirming the reversal of the company’s DRM policies for the Xbox One and will, among other things, no longer require an internet connection to play games, with restrictions on used games removed, too. “For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future.” Mattrick then went on to acknowledge the overwhelming feedback that he and the Xbox team have heard from the community, and have taken that feedback to “reshape the future of Xbox One.” After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360. There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360. Mattrick also confirmed that you’ll be able to choose whether to buy a new game from a retailer, or from Xbox LIVE on day one of release, and if you download games you’ll be able to play them offline. In addition, your copy of an Xbox One game will be playable on any other Xbox One console, with no restrictions on regions either. As it is today, downloaded titles can’t be shared or resold, and you’ll still be required to use a disc to play your games (like the Xbox 360).
USA, June 19, 2013: In recognition of National Internet Safety Month, Time Warner Cable today unveiled a new campaign to help parents teach their children to use the internet and other technologies safely. Held in partnership with Common Sense Media, the campaign includes the availability of the new Digital Passport mobile app and supporting materials that help parents address key issues that their children face online, including safety and security, cyber bullying, privacy, responsible cell phone use and respecting creative work. Time Warner Cable has committed $1 million of in-kind donations to promote the campaign through Public Service Announcements in markets it serves around the country. The company also launched a new website, www.websafety.twc.com, where families can learn more about internet safety. With Time Warner Cable’s support, Common Sense Media is making the new consumer-facing Digital Passport mobile app for Android and iOS operating systems available for free to the public until August 31, 2013. Designed for kids aged 8-12, the Digital Passport app features engaging games and videos to teach children the basics of being safe and responsible in the digital world. Users collect badges as they advance through topic areas at their own pace to ultimately earn their Digital Passport. The new app builds on a successful educator-facing, web-based version of Digital Passport launched by Common Sense Media in August 2012, which is based on lessons from the nonprofit organization’s pioneering, free K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship curriculum.
UK, June 19, 2013: A new study from SafeGov.org and the Ponemon Institute reveals that schools are overwhelmingly against private companies, specifically cloud storage providers, mining students’ data for advertising profits. As 68% of the country’s schools move towards cloud-stored email and documents, and 25% already have such services, it’s crucial that the privacy of students is protected. A vast majority of UK schools – 81% — say that they “strongly object” to the mining of students’ emails and browser history for advertising purposes. Tracking online behavioural patters can give advertisers a way to target specific users for products they are most likely to buy, meaning that most companies will pay top prices for data on the nation’s youth. However, schools want to protect children’s privacy and keep them away from such targeted advertisements, such 70% saying that “ad serving” should be barred from schools’ cloud services completely. It comes as no surprise, then that 74% of schools polled said that the number 1 risk in using cloud data storage, which allows students to store their files without carrying a physical storage device, is the risk to students’ privacy. The data clearly shows that while schools are quick to embrace the future of computing “in the cloud,” they also understand that it brings the threat of data mining and other sinister side-effects. Larry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute, said that the results of the survey “demonstrate significant potential for cloud services in UK schools,” but that there are “still overwhelming concerns regarding mining of student data for commercial use.”
Canada, June 19, 2013: The number of cases of youth suicides linked to cyberbullying is on the rise, according to pediatric experts who are in Edmonton this week for a conference on child and youth health. “The terrible thing about cyberbullying is that one can never escape it,” said Dr. John Leblanc, an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University. “If you’re a youth, you want to be involved in social media. It’s a very important way to stay connected, which means that you can’t escape it. You go home, it’s there. You’re at school, it’s there.” Leblanc is in Edmonton presenting the findings of a study he conducted on the link between cyberbullying and suicide to The Canadian Pediatric Society’s annual conference. “What’s alarming is how quickly it’s increasing,” he explained. “People do things on the keyboard they would never do face-to-face.” According to the study, just one case of youth suicide was reported in 2001. By 2012, there were 36 reported suicides. Between those years, there were 103 reported cases of youth suicide linked to online bullying; seven of which were in Canada. Leblanc says 50% of suicide victims were 15-years-old or younger, and 65% of victims were female. LeBlanc says another part of his study looked at how to detect signs of depression in young people early on. He says a crucial part of this process involves parents being involved in what’s going on in their children’s lives.
USA, June 19, 2013: Where Is the Line Between Real and Cyber Worlds? A new book for young adults, called “Gray Zone”, addresses the growing concerns of cyberbullying. Author Veronica Tabares spent years working with students in school libraries. During this time she saw bullying move from hallways to the online world. Veronica vowed to do her part to eliminate the destructive act of cyberbullying. Gray Zone shares the story of a teenage girl named Autumn who must move to a new school when a website about her goes viral. Gray Zone is fictional, yet this is a common occurrence in today’s world of technology. The statistics for cyberbullying are quite alarming — 1 in 3 young people has been on the receiving end of cyberbullying and 1 in 4 a victim of mobile phone bullying. Only 1 in 10 of these young people talk to their parents about the bullying they are experiencing. Gray Zone is complete, but still in preproduction. Veronica is asking for support from individuals who want to contribute to the anti-cyberbullying movement. Veronica has set up an Indiegogo Campaign to help cover marketing costs. All donors over $25 receive a signed copy of Gray Zone before it goes public.
UK, June 21, 2013: The coalition government has announced a new £4m campaign that aims to raise awareness of online safety. It was announced yesterday (June 20th) that the Home Office was inviting bids from creative agencies, PR firms and media companies on working on a communications campaign aimed at educate consumers. The main goal is to stop customers of online businesses from falling victim to increasingly sophisticated hacking or phishing attacks, which cost the UK economy millions of pounds every year. Officials from the Cabinet Office, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – as well as partners from the private sector including Get Safe Online – aim to launch the scheme by autumn 2013. It was previously found in a study by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) that not enough is being done to train the UK’s workforce in dealing with threats posed by hackers and cyber terrorists, according to Engineering and Technology Magazine. The body found that only 14% of firms thought online security was a high priority for them and around 30% did not have adequate solutions for the increasing risk posed by viruses and phishing attempts in years to come. Additionally, the IET also found that only 50% were aware of governmental efforts to reduce cyber crime – showing the importance of campaigns such as the one announced yesterday.
Australia, June 23, 2013: Some of the world’s foremost experts on digital citizenship will discuss the latest thinking on creating positive online behaviours at a global forum in Melbourne this week. The “Global Digital Citizenship: Encouraging Safe and Responsible Online Use Forum” – hosted by Telstra and the Family Online Safety Institute(FOSI) – will explore issues including the state of online safety around the globe, how to promote the idea of online citizenship and Australia’s response to cyber safety in a global perspective. This is the first time a prestigious FOSI Forum has been held in Australia. Telstra General Manager Digital Inclusion Jill Riseley, said while cyber safety has been in the spotlight for a number of years, Australia was now seeing a shift to digital citizenship.
USA, June 25, 2013: With the Federal Trade Commission and the State of California breathing down the necks of mobile app makers, mobile app privacy is a growing concern. A small video game industry privacy group, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) aims to fill the mobile app privacy gap by unveiling a privacy certification programme for mobile apps today. Privacy is an issue particularly when it comes to apps made for kids. The FTC last year updated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to require more transparency on data collection by mobile-industry players, and conducted a study that found nearly 60% of the apps aimed at kids it studied sent device identification data to app developers or third parties such as ad networks and analytics, a sign of how pervasive mobile-data collection has become. The COPPA update defines mobile device IDs as personal information. The ESRB programme offers risk assessment, parental consent verification for apps used by kids under 13, and guidance for short privacy disclosures, as well as compliance monitoring and privacy seals. The nonprofit was founded in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association. Its 26 member companies include Nintendo and Sony; however some of the biggest mobile gaming app providers such as Farmville maker Zynga and Candy Crush Saga maker Midasplayer International Holding are not members. The programme applies to all mobile apps, not just those aimed at children. The FTC and California’s Attorney General’s office have reviewed the new mobile app programme. The group puts members through a stringent auditing process, grading their privacy efforts and ensuring that they are indeed doing what their privacy policies say they’re doing. Members pay fees on a sliding scale based on North American net revenue.