On the occasion of Safer Internet Forum, that took place last September, Ciaopeople interviews Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information and Media Society, to talk about children's and teenagers' on-line safety.
Safer Internet Forum, organized every year by European Commission since 2004, provides an European platform through which industries of this field, legal authorities and politicians can face issues regarding on-line safety. So Ciaopeople, as representative of Italian social networks, decided to interview Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information and Media Society.
Viviane Reding has underlined her interest in social networks, specifying that this phenomenon is changing remarkably "the way we get in touch, the way we search for information, the way we have fun. But, it has also given innovative tools for the management of human resources, customer service and advertising. These networking sites have transformed people in active users of technology, but we must not forget that these changes involve new challenges too. Their great popularity among teenagers creates serious problems, concerning on-line data and privacy protection".
Moreover, the European Commissioner explained that she is well-disposed to self-regulation: "As a member of the Social Christian Party of Luxembourg, I obviously stand up for an efficient self-regulation of industry compared to the creation of a new legislation. But – and as the issue of SMS roaming has confirmed – self-regulation of industry can be considered as an option, if interested stakeholders accept it and when it is actually implemented. I think it's important that 17 social networks, operating in Europe – for example MySpace, FaceBook, YouTube, Bebo, Hyves, StudiVZ and Skyrock – have decided to talk about a common set of guide-lines to assure on-line safety, in particular for children, and to improve the transparency of their utilities".
Ciaopeople is a rather large social network that has reached about 500.000 members, mostly teenagers. From the start, Ciaopeople has tried to make a safe virtual platform for its users and now, as a large chat, it underlines the importance of internet safety. Indeed, this firm wants to provide a safe on-line space for its users, in which those who surf the net will be able to find only the best aspects of the net, such as entertainment, socializing and interaction.
As a representative of Italian social networking, Ciaopeople wants to understand Italy's role in these changes: for this reason, European Commissioner mentioned two important Italian projects, financed by European Safer Internet Plus program, EASY (http://www.easy4.it) and STOP-IT (http://www.stop-it.org) managed by Save the children Italy Organization, in partnership with Adiconsum, consumers association.
In addition, the Commissioner asked social networks to agree to the European Social Networking Task Force, which is working to make a "code of conduct", that will be ready in 2009. It operates under the supervision of the European Commission.
Internet Safety is a moral obligation for social networking firms, legal authorities, politicians and people in general. So www.ciaopeople.com will agree to the guide-lines of this new code of conduct.
Press Office www.ciaopeople.com