New guidelines on the system will come into effect from November 21 Protection of minors on the webApproved by AGCOM with resolution 9/23/CIR of 25 January 2023, as a response to the growing concern linked to the digital practices of young and very young people.
In January 2022, AGCOM launched a public consultation, where the Guarantor Authority for Childhood and Adolescence and the National User Council contributed to the drafting of the guidelines, which were later adopted exactly one year later, on January 23, 2023, by resolution 9/23/ Approved with CIR. ,
In the first phase, Internet service providers were also involved to obtain details on the costs and technologies used by web operators to implement parental control systems. The result is the implementation of tools Filter inappropriate content by default e Block reserved for adult audiences,
Despite the complexity of the preparatory work, the number of stakeholders involved and the numerous issues to be evaluated and problems to be solved, AGCOM still managed to achieve a far-reaching objective, a fundamental tool for adults to protect minors. Dangers of the web.
Main categories subject to parental controls
The guidelines list the main categories that should be subject to parental controls and which must be reported to AGCOM by operators, as well as a list of topics that should be subject to blocking and define lists of domains and sites. Tasked with maintaining and updating.
In cases where filtering at the individual content level is not possible, it should be extended to the entire site or application.
It is important to remember that, in the case of sites and applications that already provideAge VerificationRegistration and filtering of accessible content will be in line with the minimum age required for access and applicable restrictions.
It identifies and describes 8 categories:
- adult content. This category includes sites reserved for adults, sites showing nudity in a pornographic context, sexual content, sexually oriented activities, sites that recommend the purchase of such goods and services.
- gambling/speculationThat is, sites that provide information or promote/support gambling and/or betting.
- Weapons. These are sites that provide information on, promote the sale of, or support weapons and related items.
- violence, These are sites that depict or promote violence or personal injury, including self-inflicted torture, suicide, or scenes of gratuitous, persistent or brutal violence.
- Hate and discrimination. In this case we are talking about sites that promote/support hatred/intolerance towards individuals or groups.
- Promoting practices that may harm health In the light of integrated medical knowledge. It is important to include in this category sites that promote/support anorexia/bulimia, use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco.
- Anonymizer. Sites that provide tools to make online activity untraceable.
- set. Sites that provide assistance in influencing real events through the use of spells, curses, magical powers or supernatural beings fall into risk categories.
Telephone SIMs registered in the name of a minor or on which a dedicated plan is active will also have an active block on prohibited content from November 21.
Compliance and Approval
Adoption of these guidelines continues the path already set on EU regulation open internet and enforce national laws “System for the protection of minors from the risks of cyberspace”, Ensuring a more effective and efficient parental control system, guaranteeing the full implementation of the rights of protection of minors.
Compliance with EU Regulation no. 2015/2120, the so-called Open Internet, among other measures adopted by operators, which go beyond the provisions of the Guidelines regarding parental control systems, should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
The possibility of up to 9 months from the publication of the provisions was also guaranteed to give operators the necessary time to adapt to the new requirements.
Also by November 21, operators must inform:
- Technical solutions adopted
- Categories of content to be blocked identified
- Third parties are used as technology partners to implement parental control systems.
There is no shortage of sanctions in case of violation of established obligations by operators.
In fact, AGCOM may order cessation of the conduct and refund of any amounts improperly taken from users, with a deadline of at least sixty days indicated for compliance.
Being free is a liability for the parental control system. Users should take utmost care, as the supply of these systems cannot be linked to the subscription of any paid supporting service.
However, operators can Provide optional additional systemsBut they cannot be activated until consent is obtained.
ISPs, Internet service providers should publish clear, easily available and detailed guides on their websites for the use of the systems and provide free assistance for their activation, deactivation and configuration through call centers, if more than one operator. The possibility of human interaction with humans must be considered. Delighting the consumer.
A parental control system should always include at a minimum:
- domain block
- Blocking sites that host filtered content, preventing minors from accessing certain domains, sites or applications containing inappropriate content.
Who the guidelines apply to
The guidelines apply to consumer contracts. Internet service providers shall provide parental control systems, i.e. filters for content inappropriate for minors and blocking of content reserved for adults.
Parental control systems therefore allow you to limit or block access to certain activities and content that are inappropriate for minors.
For this purpose, AGCOM reserves the right to provide criteria to identify programs and services to filter or block.
Operators may use lists of sites and content identified by themselves or by third parties that guarantee seriousness.
To ensure greater transparency, parental control systems must be included and activated in offers dedicated to minors, while on others they must be activated by the contract holder. Adult contract holders or those who exercise parental authority over a minor are entitled to deactivate, reactivate and configure.
How to identify the contract owner
It becomes necessary to identify the contract owner or, if there is a minor, the one who assumes parental responsibility.
This will now happen through the use of comprehensive solutions, namely:
- PIN code is provided upon activation and communicated confidentially
- Authentication in the reserved area of the operator’s website;
- OTP sent via SMS or email.
Activation, deactivation, and configuration operations of the parental control system should be achieved in a simple and intuitive manner.
The term parental control system means a system that allows you to limit or block access to certain online activities by a minor, preventing access through any application to content that is inappropriate for his age (For example pornography, violence, weapons, drugs, etc.).
The technical solutions used to activate parental controls are:
- DNS (Domain Name System) or other operator network level filtering;
- filtration Through applications installed on the device.
Operators can enrich the functionality of parental control systems by configuring them according to time slots or allowing them to remember visited sites.
There should be an interface available to the contract owner or anyone exercising parental responsibility over a minor via web or app. If distributed via app, it should be available for Android and iOS. Furthermore, simple and effective lock/unlock management must be guaranteed.
The content that is filtered through the parental control system can be configured by the contract owner, who:
- Can customize the categories of content being filtered
- Add or remove sites from block lists and allow lists
Users should be aware of the pre-activated parental control system. Therefore, they should be advertised on Internet service provider websites, service charters and also be the subject of targeted campaigns.
All information regarding their existence and how to modify, activate, deactivate them must be provided in a clear, transparent and detailed manner upon signing the contract.
What do the guidelines establish?
Therefore the Authority’s guidelines establish:
- Supply Obligation. Internet access service providers (ISPs), regardless of what technology they use to provide the service, make parental control systems available to consumers, i.e. filtering inappropriate content for minors and for audiences over the age of eighteen. Blocking confidential content.
- free service. ISPs must provide parental control systems free of charge to consumers and cannot charge a fee to activate, deactivate, configure, or operate them. The provision of parental control systems cannot be linked to a subscription to a paid support service
- Pre-activation. Offers dedicated to minors must include and activate a parental control system. On other offerings, a parental control system should be made available and can be activated by the user. The subjects who can perform deactivation, reactivation and configuration operations are adults, holders of contracts and those who exercise parental authority over the minor.
- Customer Support. ISPs must publish clear and detailed guides on their websites for the use of parental control systems and provide free assistance for their activation, deactivation and configuration through call centers chosen by the consumer in accordance with current regulations.
- advertising. Providers of telephone services, television networks, and electronic communications must provide adequate forms of advertising of proactive parental control systems to ensure that consumers can make informed choices. In particular, parental control systems should be advertised on ISP websites, in service charters, and with targeted communication campaigns.
For further information, Users can contact their Internet access operator (i.e. the company that provides telephone and data services on landline and mobile networks) by calling the corresponding call center, consulting the website or accessing their reserved area. Are.