Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Best practices for online child safety
Protecting children online is a shared responsibility. The PointSmart.ClickSafe. Task Force, of which we're a member, is an important example of how industry leaders, safety advocates, and community organizations are working together keep kids safe online.
This morning the Task Force released its Recommendations for Best Practices for Online Safety and Literacy, the culmination of a year-long effort.
The most important and timely recommendation from the report (which previous online safety task forces all agree upon) is the need for digital media literacy and safety education that empowers kids, parents, and educators. It's important that kids of all ages learn what it mean to be a digital citizen and how to navigate the online world safely, and it's equally important that parents and educators have the resources and online tools to help kids make the right choices online. That's why we support the SAFE Internet Act, introduced by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), which would establish a $175 million dollar competitive grant program for state and local education agencies and nonprofit organizations to promote Internet safety education.
For our part, Google's approach to child safety has three primary elements. First, we empower families with powerful and innovative tools to create a safe experience online, like SafeSearch, community flagging tools, and granular privacy controls for our products. Second, we partner with law enforcement and industry partners to stop illegal content and activity online -- we're especially proud of our work with NCMEC and the technology we provided them to fight child exploitation online. Third, we support educational efforts -- both Google and YouTube have developed online safety resources for parents and kids, including a Online Family Safety Guide, and we continue to work and support many of the non-profit organizations doing great work in this space including FOSI, NCMEC, Common Sense Media, and iKeepSafe.
We're committed to helping keep our users safe online, and we look forward to continuing our work with the Task Force to explore and share new and innovative ways to do just that.