Google Talks Online Child Safety
Google is part of the "PointSmart ClickSafe Task Force," which is an organization that was set up to help keep kids safe online. This week, the task force released its Recommendations for Best Practices for Online Safety and Literacy, which it has been working on for nearly a year.
"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," says Google Policy Analyst Jennifer Marsh. "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."
The guidelines discussed in the Task Force’s document cover things like:
1. Education and information
2. Registration/creation of user profiles
3. Identify authentication and age verification
4. Content screening
5. Safe searching.
Google views its own role in the online safety of children as consisting of 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," says Marsh. "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."
Marsh says Google supports the SAFE Internet Act, which would establish a $175 million competitive grant program for state and local education agencies and nonprofit organizations to promote Internet safety education.