Protect children in
a connected society
Children spend an ever-increasing part of their life online with amazing access to a wealth of knowledge, but also some very disturbing content. As a leading Internet provider, we have decided that this is an area where we can make a real difference. Our child protection efforts are all about creating a safer environment for children online.
We see two key ways of protecting children in a connected society. The first is to provide technical solutions that make it possible to protect children against inappropriate online content. The second one is behavioral – we provide up-to-date expert advice and information to support parents and children in preventing physical and mental harm caused by using connected devices.
This focus area has very high value for our stakeholders. Both B2C and B2B customers say it is one of the most important sustainability topics for Tele2. We are also convinced that our social impact can be very high by reducing potential harm and suffering for children.
As such, our long-term goal is:
By 2023 Tele2 will implement technical solutions and drive behavioral change to protect children online and win customers.
Our short-term goals are:
- We want to be able to provide technical solutions that can block harmful content for children, to a majority of our customers
- We will evaluate how to improve the blocking of Child Sexual Abuse Material in our networks
- Provide new materials that can help children towards a safer and more healthy experience online
- Continue to inform our customer base about how we can protect children
- Look for further opportunities to support our B2B customers in preventing distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material
Understanding children's online habits
Learning about the online habits of children is an important tool for understanding both the risks of a connected life and the services and knowledge needed to provide a safe online environment. Over recent years, we have conducted a number of surveys designed to provide insights that allow us to tailor the services we provide to parents and children and the information they need. The most recent survey was conducted in 2021, where asked one thousand children and teenagers and one thousand parents about their experiences online. The resulting report provides some very interesting conclusions.
Guidance for parents
Tele2's report Children and Internet shows that more than half of all children have seen something frightening on the Internet and many have been contacted by adults they don't know. Children who have parents that are involved in their Internet use are more likely to talk to somebody about what happens to them online. Together with the Swedish Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia's Foundation, we have developed Lajka – an online guide for parents on how to help children to be safer online.
Tech Coalition together with ECPAT
In our largest market, Sweden, we have founded a tech coalition together with the major local telecom operators and ECPAT, a global network dedicated to fight online child sexual exploitation (OCSE). The coalition also includes tech actors that directly can have an impact on fighting sexual exploitation of children. By sharing information and gathering statistics, we hope that the cooperation will result in new opportunities and tools to use in the fight against OCSE.
Report it, don't ignore it
If you come in contact with any kind of online content where children are exploited, we strongly encourage you to report that using ECPAT Sweden's anonymous hotline, or the hotline of any other country listed at INHOPE.
Ceaselessly blocking child sexual abuse content
We cannot act directly against the perpetrators that abuse children. But we can try to stop their content from spreading and make it difficult for them to earn money through the Internet.
Based on lists from authorities such as Interpol and the police, we continuously blocks attempts to access web pages that have been classified as containing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in all countries where we operate. If someone is using our networks to try access one of the listed pages, a stop sign appears explaining the type of content the person is trying to access and refers them to the relevant authorities. In Sweden, the stop sign also contains a help line number. In 2022, Tele2 blocked on average 214 000 attempts per month to access pages with confirmed CSAM within its footprint.
Detection within our own organisation
We actively run detection software internally on all employees' computers to detect child sexual abuse material. If an employee has child sexual abuse material on his or her computer, or even on an USB stick that is connected to the computer, an alarm is sent to our security department. The case is then handed over to the police.
Just like our online blocking, the detection is based on lists from authorities such Interpol and the police.
Impact on UN Sustainable Development Goals
This focus area aims towards the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:
- 16.2 – Protect children from abuse, exploitation, trafficking and violence
- 17.17 – Encourage effective partnerships