February 18, 2019
On Safer Internet Day on 5 February, the European Commission announced the creation of new Expert Group on Safer Internet for Children, which will help improve coordination and cooperation between EU Member States and propose concrete actions that can be taken to keep children safe when using the internet. The first meeting of the expert group will take place in Brussels on 6 March 2019.
The group, composed of representatives from EU Member States, Iceland and Norway, will discuss a range of topics, from how to protect children from access to harmful content, for example, through age ratings and parental controls, to how to avoid unfair commercial practices in online advertising directed at children.
One aim of the group is to facilitate the sharing of best practice between Member States on how to implement the specific provisions concerning minors in key existing legal instruments. These include measures to protect minors from harmful content in the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) or rules on requiring parental consent to access children’s data covered by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The Commission has also released the results of the #SaferInternet4EU campaign on online safety, media literacy and cyber-hygiene, which ran throughout much of 2018. The figures show that around 15,500 schools were reached and nearly 10,000 organisations were involved in last year’s Safer Internet Day, while throughout the year as a whole nearly 30 million EU citizens were reached, providing them with more than 1,800 new resources covering themes such as fake news, cyberbullying, privacy concerns, grooming, sexting and cyber hygiene. To read the Commission’s press release in full, click here.