The European Commission wants to hear from parents, consumer associations, child protection organizations, mobile network operators, content providers, manufacturers and regulators regarding the potential risks to children from the use of mobile phones. The issue prompted the opening of a public consultation that starts today and runs until 16 October to collect contributions from all interested parties on the subject.
The initiative stems from the fact that over the past few years the use of mobile equipment by young people has increased exponentially, to the point that today 70 percent of adolescents between the ages of 12 and 13 use a mobile phone, as well as 23 percent of children aged between 8 and 9 years old, reveal Eurobarámetro data for May 2006.
On the other hand, mobile devices cover an increasingly diverse range of functions with the possibility of connecting to the Internet, exchanging content and multimedia messages.
The Commission wants to understand the impact of these features on the youngest, especially with regard to the content accessed and potential risky behavior.
The consultation is part of a process that started in June 2005 – with a plenary session of the Forum for a Safer Internet where 200 speakers participated – and continues until 2008, with a global budget of 45 million euros to combat illegal and harmful content on the Internet. The aim is to bring together different points of view that can contribute to future European actions in this area.
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