Kids playing video games on phone after school

Joining forces to help protect children online

Published: 24 March 2023
Last updated: 31 May 2023

Today we’ve published a statement on international cooperation to protect children online, alongside our partners in the International Working Group on Age Verification.

Over recent months, we have been working alongside our colleagues in Belgium, Cyprus, France and Germany to form the working group.

Its aim is to make sure video-sharing platforms (VSPs) under our respective jurisdictions have in place robust access controls to protect children from accessing harmful video content on their services.

Today’s statement enshrines that shared commitment and sets out our priorities for international collaboration.

Online safety challenges are global in nature and many of the services that we regulate operate in multiple jurisdictions. So, proactive international collaboration among regulators is critical to protect children and to make sure regulatory regimes are effective. We are pleased to be part of this working group that helps advance those aims.

For Ofcom, driving forward the implementation of robust age assurance to protect children from the most harmful online content is one of our strategic priorities for year two of regulating VSPs. The international working group is one of the tools we will use to realise this priority.

Ofcom’s international and VSP teams have worked closely together to represent Ofcom in the working group to learn from others, while also sharing insights from our research and day-to-day work assessing the proportionality and efficacy of AV techniques.

For example, we’ve shared our research on adult users’ attitudes to age verification on adult sites and our joint research with the Information Commissioner’s Office, on families’ attitudes towards age assurance.

We look forward to continuing our work with Autorité de régulation de la communication audiovisuelle et numérique (Arcom), the Conseil Superieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), the Cyprus Radiotelevision Authority (CRTA) and Direktorenkonferenz der Landesmedienanstalten (DLM) to protect children online.

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