Mobile operators must take “concrete measures” to enable better privacy and protect the safety of children online, Telenor has claimed. 

Speaking as part of Safer Internet Day 2015, Telenor said MNOs had “key responsibilities” to undertake in making the internet a more secure place, including the application of more targeted privacy settings and protection from abusive content.

Sigve Brekke, EVP and Head of Operations for Telenor markets in Asia, said the company's business units are actively working to mitigate risks by rolling out multiple safety initiatives in parallel with the expansion of its mobile services.

For example, it revealed that a child abuse filter is now active in 11 of its markets around the world.

The Norway-based company said that operators need to adopt wider use of content classification and parental controls, as well as commit to more effective takedown of child abuse material.

Telenor is currently working with international bodies such as the GSMA and the CEO Coalition to encourage industry leaders to take action on internet safety.

Tor Odland, Head of Communications for Telenor in Asia, told European Communications that while a “strong international mandate” was in force in an attempt to protect children, the “onus of action” rests on the shoulders of telcos. 

However, he added: “With the risks ranging from cyberbullying to identity theft to issues of sexual exploitation and data mining, operators have a lot of ground to cover.”

A study published by BT as part of 2015’s Safer Internet Day revealed that 17 percent of parents of 5-10 year-olds had accessed inappropriate content online in the past year.

However, the findings revealed that only 43 percent of parents apply parental controls to limit what their children access.

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