March 5, 2008

NEWS / MOBILE TECHNOLOGY / PROTECTION: Call to protect kids from mobile content (UK)

Call to protect kids from mobile content

Mobile operators today called on parliament to tighten up guidelines to prevent children accessing unsuitable websites and using their phones for bullying.

Representatives from the leading mobile phone companies also told MPs that handset manufacturers could do more to protect children from potentially harmful internet content they can receive on their phones.

Giving evidence at a Commons culture, media and sport select committee, industry executives said they could only offer voluntary filters on handsets to keep out the kind of content that might cause parents alarm but which may not actually be illegal.

"What should come out of these discussions and policy development is some really firm guidance, even to the point where there's clear legislation, as to what is deemed to be harmful and should not be made available," said Hamish MacLeod, the chair of the Mobile Broadband Group, which represents all five of the UK's network operators.

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