The companies concerned are tackling existing and emerging risks that children and young people face online, including:
- harmful content (e.g. violent or sexually exploitative content)
- harmful conduct (e.g. cyberbullying)
- harmful contact (e.g. sexual extortion)
The framework of the initiative is set out in the alliance’s statement of purpose (.pdf), which introduces 9 actions under 3 main strands:
- user empowerment
- enhanced collaboration
- awareness raising
- Identifying and promoting best practices for the communication of data privacy practices;
- Providing accessible and robust tools that are easy to use and to provide feedback and notification as appropriate;
- Promoting users’ awareness and use of information and tools that can help keep them safer online. This includes teaching them their responsibility and duty to behave responsibly and respectfully towards others online. In turn, this fosters trust and promotes minors' digital empowerment;
- Promoting use of content classification when and where appropriate;
- Promoting the awareness and use of parental control tools.
- Intensifying cooperation with other parties such as Child Safety Organisations, Governments, education services and law enforcement to enhance best practice-sharing;
- Identifying emerging developments in technology such as connected devices and, with the support of the Commission, engage with other parties who also have a role to play in supporting child safety online.
- Supporting the development of awareness-raising campaigns about online safety, digital empowerment, and media literacy through both ad hoc and ongoing initiatives;
- Promoting children’s access to diversified online content, opinions, information and knowledge.
In addition to endorsing the statement of purpose, the signatory companies made individual commitments in line with their business activity. In November 2020, TikTok joined the Alliance submitting their commitments (.pdf).
The alliance covers the entire value chain from leading ICT and media companies to NGOs including:
ASKfm, BT Group, Deutsche Telekom, Disney, Facebook, Google, KPN, The LEGO Group, Liberty Global, Microsoft, Orange, Rovio, Samsung Electronics, Sky, Snap, Spotify, Sulake, Super RTL/Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, TikTok, TIM (Telecom Italia), Telefónica, Telenor, Telia Company, Twitter, Vivendi, Vodafone.
BBFC, Child Helpline International, COFACE, eNACSO, EUN Partnership, FFTelecoms, FOSI, Foundation T.I.M. (Against Internet Misconduct), FSM, GSMA, ICT Coalition, NICAM, Toy Industries of Europe, UNICEF.
The membership policy (.pdf) states that this multi-stakeholder platform is open to new members.
Report on the independent evaluation
The Alliance agreed to an independent and transparent review 18 months after its launch. On Safer Internet Day 2019, the report on the independent evaluation of the 'Alliance to better protect minors online' was published.
The evaluation assessed how the Alliance is being implemented, its overall impact, and the relevance and effectiveness of the actions it has taken so far. Another of its aims was to identify strengths and shortcomings. The study, which sets out recommendations on the Alliance’s future work, is a valuable source of information for any potential new members joining the initiative, who will be able to learn from the success stories and good practices identified.
Members of the Alliance regularly meet face to face:
1. Meeting of 30 April 2019 to discuss and agree on the way forward for the initiative after publication of the Report on the independent evaluation of the “Alliance to better protect minors online”.
2. Meeting of 14 October 2019 to take stock of the European Strategy on a Better Internet for Children and to share the latest developments and good practices among members.
3. Meeting of 27 May 2020 to exchange information on recent developments, reiterate the role of different stakeholders in creating a safe and better online environment particularly in current circumstances related to COVID-19 and to discuss the next steps for the Youth Pledge for a better internet.
4. Meeting of 23 October 2020 to exchange information on recent developments and to update the group on the progress on the Youth Pledge for a better internet.
5. Meeting of 29 June 2021 to exchange information on recent developments such as the Commission proposals: on Artificial Intelligence and on a framework for a European Digital Identity. A concept for the Better Internet for Kids Youth Pledge Phase 2.0 was also presented.
6. Meeting of 21 October 2021 to consult the members on the update of the Better Internet for Children Strategy, seek their views and collect their input on needs, gaps and emerging risks and opportunities impacting on children’s rights in a digital world.