Edition 11, September 2017 If you cannot read this email, please click here.
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Better Internet for Kids - Bulletin Insafe & InHope
 
Welcome to the 11th edition of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) bulletin. This quarterly bulletin aims to keep you informed of safer and better internet issues and opportunities across Europe and beyond.

In each edition of the BIK bulletin, we look at a topical issue - our main focus this month is on positive online content as we introduce our new campaign and reflect on the importance of being aware of what constitutes positive content for a wide range of stakeholders. Also in this edition, we reflect back on some other updates you may have missed over the summer, such as preparations for the implementation of the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) across Europe, and news featured on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) public portal. Additionally, we open registration for the forthcoming Safer Internet Forum (SIF) 2017, and announce the theme for Safer Internet Day (SID) 2018.

We hope you find this edition of the BIK bulletin useful. If you have any comments on this resource, or would like to contribute to a future edition of the BIK bulletin, please contact us.

If you would like to forward this newsletter to a friend or a colleague, please do so using the link at the top of this message or encourage them to subscribe to receive future editions direct.

   
  Intro  
   
About the Better Internet
for Kids Project
 
Under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the European Commission is co-funding a range of better/safer internet services, both at the European and the national level. Building on the European Strategy for a Better Internet for Children as published in 2012, the BIK core service platform aims to bring together European stakeholders in the field to work collaboratively in achieving the goal of a better internet for all. This bulletin is just one of a range of tools and services provided. Keep following us across all BIK communication channels - see links in the footer of this email.
 
 
 
FOCUS ON THE
 
positive online content campaign
 
   
 
 
 

A good website or app can help to change a young person's life. It can help kids learn, develop and express themselves, while having fun at the same time. Equally, provision of such content and services can help to contribute to a better internet. To promote its creation and use, we’ve recently launched a new Positive Online Content Campaign (POCC) with the release of a new website and associated activities.

What is positive online content?

The ultimate goal of the Positive Online Content Campaign (POCC) is to build a better online experience for children: an internet with positive online content that "enables children to learn, have fun, create, enjoy, to develop a positive view of themselves and respect for their identity, and to enhance their participation in society and motivates them to produce and distribute their own positive content."

Aside from the general promotion of positive online content, the campaign also aims to provide concrete and practical tools that help with the creation and spread of such content. For example, creators, educators and parents alike can benefit from a checklist with qualities and criteria for positive online content, which can be used across Europe as it has been translated into 23 languages, or consult examples of what positive online content looks like in practice.

Different groups, different benefits

While primarily taking place at a European level, the campaign also seeks to highlight a multitude of national activities as organised by Safer Internet Centres (SICs) across Europe. A campaign awareness week took place 25-29 September 2017 targeting different stakeholders each day. It signifies the start of raising awareness of the issue which will continue as an integral part of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) line of work: children, teachers and educators, parents and carers, and content providers and producers are all encouraged to get involved and benefit from the campaign in their own way.

In shaping the Positive Online Content Campaign, we’ve established a few core principles as follows…

Firstly, we believe that children's digital literacy skills should be developed from an early age by exploring the internet while also being protected from (future) possible online risks, such as encountering inappropriate content, cyberbullying or grooming. By exposing young children to high quality online content from their very first experiences, they can learn how to recognise the basic components of appropriate and positive content and services.

Secondly, digital content is playing an increasingly significant role in education, from an ever-younger age. Therefore, teachers and educators should be equipped to navigate effortlessly through the wide array of online content. Not only do they need to feel confident about ensuring a safe digital classroom environment, they also should be able to tap into the potential of online content to enrich lessons and other educational activities. The POCC website includes a database with examples of positive online content to help educators to do so. Additionally, educators should position themselves as role models when it comes to digital literacy.

Thirdly, parents and carers want what is best for their children, and ensuring their safety while also stimulating them to explore the sheer amount of online services and content is not an easy task. The campaign therefore also aims to inform parents and carers of what they should look for in online content or services that respects their children's needs and learning capacities. However, digital literacy is not only crucial for children: similar to educators, in order for parents to be digital role models and to have meaningful conversations with their kids about media preferences and problems, they should also be digitally literate.

Lastly, producers and providers of digital content and services probably play the biggest role in ensuring that younger generations have access to appropriate, safe, informative and empowering online experiences from the outset. Both large industry players and small independent producers should take responsibility in this area when designing, developing and distributing content. As noted above, an updated and translated positive online content checklist has been provided to help content developers to design, adapt and customise their products to contribute to raising an empowered and digitally-skilled generation of active citizens.

Roundup of the Awareness Week

In a European Commission blog article, published to coincide with the launch of the Awareness Week, Claire Bury, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General Communications Networks, Content and Technology, outlined the importance of the campaign: “Developing digital literacy in young people from a very early age will lay the foundations for them to assess the content they find online in a critical manner. With the right tools, we can enhance their resilience to online risks and to content they may find disturbing while surfing the web. By having access to high quality content from their very first online experience, children can learn how to recognise the basic components of appropriate and trustworthy content and services.

During the awareness week, a range of activities took place to target each of the key stakeholder groups:

We hope that these resources will continue to be utilised beyond the awareness week as we collectively strive to provide better experiences for children through positive online content!

Visit the Positive Online Content Campaign website to learn more about positive online content concepts and approaches across Europe, and continue the discussions on social media using the #positivecontent and #ChatPOCC hashtags.

 
 
 
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HELPLINES
 
Latest helpline statistics reveal increase in privacy concerns
 
   
 
 
  The Insafe network of helplines collects data about the types of calls that they receive and this is analysed every three months to look at trends and new and emerging issues. The most recent data collection covered the period from April to June 2017 inclusive and saw 11,573 contacts which all related to online issues. This was a rise on the same timeframe in the previous year (8,928 contacts), possibly due to an increased awareness of helplines by the general public, successful helpline marketing campaigns, or raised public awareness of topical online safety concerns, such as the Blue Whale Challenge.

This quarter has seen a marked rise in the number of calls about privacy with 12 per cent of calls relating to the abuse of privacy and 7 per cent about how to protect privacy. The combined categories account for 19 per cent of all calls which is the highest since data has been collected. It is possible that increased public awareness as a result of viruses, such as WannaCry and large-scale hacks like the recent giant spambot attack, have led to more concern from members of the public.

 
 
 
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HOTLINES
 
Data Protection Directive or General Data Protection Regulation: which one is for you?
 
   
 
 
  With the EU’s data protection reform measures coming into force soon, INHOPE - the International Association of Internet Hotlines - discusses the differences between the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Directive with special reference to hotlines within the wider Safer Internet Centre (SIC) context.

The GDPR comes into force in May 2018 as part of a package of reform measures; all organisations within the European Union need to be compliant. For the police and criminal justice sector, including law enforcement agencies (LEAs), the Data Protection Directive is applicable to ensure efficient exchange of information with only one set of data protection rules valid across all member states.

 
 
 
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  BIK RESOURCES  
 
 
 
Back to school resources from SaferInternet4Kids.gr
 
   
 
To mark the start of new school year, the Greek Safer Internet Centre (SIC) has launched a number of new resources on its website at SaferInternet4Kids.gr. The website can be used as a tool in the classroom or at home to strengthen children's knowledge on how to navigate safely online. Following the success of the video titled "Online safety with simple words", well-known characters Athena and Hermes embark on new adventures and explain to young children what cyberbullying is and how they can handle such incidents. Through a new animated video, "Cyberbullying with simple words", young children can have fun learning how to protect themselves and their friends.
 
 
   
 
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Blue Whale Challenge
 
   
 
Over the past few months, the media has been regularly reporting about a new and disturbing "online game of death" – the Blue Whale Challenge (BWC). While there is no concrete information on the existence of such a game, the speculation and buzz created by it is worrying. In April 2017, representatives the European network of Safer Internet Centres (SICs) and other key stakeholders attended a webinar on the issue, while an article was also published on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) public portal at that time. This article provides further information on the phenomenon based on a report recently published by jugendschutz.net, one of the hotlines administered by the German Safer Internet Centre.
 
 
   
 
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The Parent, Educator & Youth Guide to LGBTQ Cyberbullying
 
   
 
ConnectSafely.org, a US-based non-profit internet safety organisation, and conveners of the US Safer Internet Day (SID) Committee, has recently published "The Parent, Educator & Youth Guide to LGBTQ Cyberbullying”, available for free online. This guide starts with a roundup of the top five questions - and answers - ConnectSafely receives from parents and educators on issues relating to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) cyberbullying. It then goes on to address some key concerns, outlining what parents and family members can do, and what schools can do to work towards a positive educational climate. It concludes by offering practical advice for LGBTQ youth who may be experiencing difficulties.
 
 
   
 
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IS4K freephone helpline is now live in Spain
 
   
 
IS4K (Internet Segura for Kids, the Spanish Safer Internet Centre (SIC)) freephone helpline launched in September 2017 complementing the assistance which was already available through a web form and email service. Available on +34 900 116 117, the aim of the helpline is to become a reference point in the Spanish-speaking world that users - children, young people, parents, educators and other professionals working in the area - can access when they are unsure of how to deal with the different situations that may be faced by minors relating to the internet and new technologies. The service is free and confidential.
 
 
   
 
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  BIK YOUTH  
 
 
 
Youth perspectives on positive online content
 
   
 
As part of the Positive Online Content Campaign (POCC), we asked a number of our youth panellists about their first memories and experiences with using online tools and services, and the lasting impact this has had. From communicating with peers to expressing themselves creatively, respondents were able to reflect on the many benefits they had gained but, conversely, also reflected on the fact that this early use also helped them to think critically online, especially on issues such as time spent playing or being encouraged to spend money to progress in a game.
 
 
   
 
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Bulgaria builds a national Cyberscouts network
 
   
 
For the third year running, the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) and its hotline have been training 12 and 13-year-old students across the country to advise and help their peers who have faced a risk or an incident on the internet. With eighteen completed trainings and four more coming up this autumn, the Cyberscouts network will number more than 500 students in over 30 cities across the country.
 
 
   
 
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  BIK RESEARCH  
 
 
 
Roundtable on the GDPR and children's rights
 
   
 
From May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect in the EU. The GDPR aims to strengthen, simplify and harmonise data protection regimes across Europe, giving individuals control over how their data are processed. It also explicitly acknowledges that children merit specific protection. Yet, from a children’s rights perspective, Article 8 – which contains requirements regarding parental consent for the processing of personal data of children under 16 (or 15, 14 or 13, if Member States so legislate) – has sparked a great deal of controversy and confusion. In addition, provisions regarding profiling and their application to children are the subject of diverging views.

Against this background, European Schoolnet, Ghent University and KU Leuven organised a Roundtable on the GDPR and children’s rights in June 2017 in Brussels, Belgium, bringing together a diverse group of around 100 legislators, data protection authorities (DPAs), industry, education stakeholders and civil society organisations to gather additional insight and develop a better understanding of different perspectives and possible implementation challenges. Read the full report from the Roundtable event here.

 
 
   
 
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Updated mapping on Member State responses to the GDPR
 
   
 
As outlined above, Article 8 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) contains specific requirements regarding consent for the processing of personal data of children. The general rule provides for a parental consent requirement for all youth under 16 years old in situations where information society services are offered directly to them, and consent is the legitimation ground that is relied upon. However, Member States may choose to deviate and decide to lower the age threshold to 15, 14, or 13 years. Consult the latest mapping of Member State approaches here.
 
 
   
 
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New study on young children and digital technology
 
   
 
A new study on young children (0-8) and digital technology was recently coordinated by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), as part of a European-wide study. Fieldwork was conducted between November 2016 and January 2017 as a continuation of a 2015 study about how children aged 8 years or less and their families use and manage digital technologies. That study resulted in valuable new knowledge that partially filled a gap in the existing understanding on how the youngest children cope in the digital world. Here, the Bulgarian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) reports on country-specific findings.
 
 
   
 
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  BIK INDUSTRY  
 
 
 
Vodafone publishes latest edition of its Digital Parenting magazine
 
   
 
Vodafone UK has recently published the sixth annual edition of the Digital Parenting magazine, providing the latest expert advice on how parents can help their children to develop the skills and knowledge they need to use the online world safely and with confidence. With articles and information written by psychologists, teachers, parents and other influencers and professionals in this field, the magazine covers a range of topical issues of relevance to parents across Europe such as cybercrime, “sharenting”, virtual reality and live-streaming apps.
 
 
   
 
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New Microsoft study reveals parents have the greatest impact on young people's safety online
 
   
 
Preliminary results of a new Microsoft study show that adults and teens around the world overwhelmingly view parents as the most trusted and most responsible group for keeping children and teens safe online. Nearly one third (29 per cent) of respondents said parents are the most trusted, and one in five considered parents to be the most responsible for ensuring the safety of individuals and families online. Software companies scored 9 per cent on trust and 7 per cent on responsibility, ahead of teachers (2 per cent and 1 per cent, respectively) and local government (3 per cent on both categories), but lower than internet service providers, social media companies and national governments. These results are from the latest research associated with Microsoft's work on digital civility - encouraging safer and healthier online interactions among all individuals and communities.
 
 
   
 
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  EVENTS AND CAMPAIGNS  
 
 
 
Safer Internet Forum 2017 – register now
 
   
 
Registration is now open for Safer Internet Forum (SIF) 2017 which will take place on Thursday, 23 November 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.

Safer Internet Forum is a key annual international conference in Europe where policy makers, researchers, law enforcement bodies, youth, parents and carers, teachers, NGOs, industry representatives, experts and other relevant actors come together to discuss the latest trends, risks and solutions related to child online safety.

With a theme of “From children’s tech to resilient youth – how to foster wellbeing online?”, the SIF agenda includes sessions on children and robotic toys, building resilience with vulnerable groups, whether age should determine how people can access and experience the internet, and the scale of the challenge being faced in tackling child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online. The EC-led Alliance to better protect minors online will host a session on how the various Alliance commitments are now being actioned, while youth representatives will report on their views in response to the Alliance initiative, also sharing the results of ongoing, youth-led co-creation processes.

 
 
   
 
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Create, connect and share respect on Safer Internet Day 2018
 
   
 
Save the date for Safer Internet Day (SID) 2018 which will take place on Tuesday, 6 February 2018 with a theme of "Create, connect and share respect: A better internet starts with you".

This edition’s theme is a call to action for every stakeholder to play their part in creating a better internet for everyone and, in particular, the youngest users out there. More than that, it is an invitation for everyone to join in and engage with others in a respectful way in order to ensure a better digital experience.

Check out the Safer Internet Day website for the latest information, or like SID on Facebook and follow SID on Twitter for regular news and updates.

 
 
   
 
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