Office of Communications (Ofcom) has published a statement on international cooperation to protect children online, alongside their partners in the International Working Group on Age Verification.
Over recent months, Ofcom has been working alongside their 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 priorities for international collaboration.
Online safety challenges are global in nature and many of the services that Ofcom regulate operate in multiple jurisdictions. So, proactive international collaboration among regulators is critical to protect children and to make sure regulatory regimes are effective. Ofcom is 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 their 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 research and day-to-day work assessing the proportionality and efficacy of AV techniques.
For example, they’ve shared research on adult users’ attitudes to age verification on adult sites and joint research with the Information Commissioner’s Office, on families’ attitudes towards age assurance.
Ofcom look forward to continuing 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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