ISPs to offer new accounts ‘active choice’

Posted: October 12, 2011

The big four UK Internet service providers – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin – have released a joint statement clarifying their position with regard to Prime Minister David Cameron’s initiative to protect children from exposure to sexual imagery online.

The ISPs say that new customers will simply be given the choice of having a connection with parental controls or without – and that neither will be the ‘default’, contrary to earlier speculation that customers would be required to ‘opt in’ rather than ‘opt out’ following the Bailey report – proposals put forward by Reg Bailey, chief executive of the Mothers’ Union charity.

The joint statement from the ISPs said: “BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media are pleased to have developed and agreed a code of practice, including measures to ensure that customers are provided with an active choice as to whether to activate parental controls in the home. The four Internet service providers have worked closely with government and a range of stakeholders to swiftly introduce measures addressing recommendations set out in the Bailey report.

“The ISPs have committed to improve the way they communicate to customers, enabling parents to make simple and well-informed choices about installing and activating parental controls and other measures to protect children online. The four ISPs are working with parents’ groups and children’s charities on this important initiative and will continue to do so.”

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