Protect children in
a connected society
Children spend an ever-increasing part of their life online, with an 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 one is to provide technical solutions that make it possible to protect children against inappropriate content online. 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.
The 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
- Publish the report Children and the Internet 2021
- 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
To learn more about children's online habits and to get good input for our Child Protection efforts, we conduct the survey Children and Teenagers Online since 2017. We ask children and their parents about their online habits, what they experience on the internet and the risks the connected life entails. With the survey as background, we are continually looking into how we can spread knowledge and create services that minimise the risks for children within our footprint. In our latest 2021 report, we have asked one thousand children and teenagers and one thousand parents, with some very interesting conclusions as a result.
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 that 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.
Telecom Coalition together with ECPAT
In our largest market, Sweden, we have founded a telecom coalition together with the major local telecom operators and ECPAT, a global network dedicated to fight online child sexual exploitation (OCSE). 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 take action 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 with the internet as a mean.
Based on lists from authorities like Interpol and the Police, Tele2 continuously blocks attempts to access web pages that have been classified as containing child sexual abuse, in all countries where we operate. If someone is using Tele2's 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 to the relevant authorities. In Sweden, the stop sign also contains a help line number. Tele2 blocks about half a million pages a month within its footprint. That is approximately 16 500 per day, nearly 700 per hour, or 11 per minute.
Detection within our own organisation
Tele2 actively runs detection software internally, on all employees' computers, to detect material containing sexual abuse of children. If an employee has 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 like 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