Today TalkTalk announced it would be offering new customers 'active choice' in using their HomeSafe service. The Internet Service Provider, which launched the parental control service in May 2011 will now ask all new customers if they wish to activate the service when purchasing broadband from them, rather than the consumer having to do it themselves once the broadband is installed and running.
"Ensuring new customers make an active choice about parental controls is a good start in improving the protection for children online. It will mean new customers will have to decide whether they want parental controls on their Internet access. I look forward to continuing to work with industry to ensure children can safely enjoy the Internet."Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister
So far around a quarter of a million customers have started using HomeSafe, a network level security product which is designed to protect children from inappropriate web content, one of its kind so far in the UK. According to TalkTalk, suicide and self-harm sites are the highest blocked category by customers so far.
"Creating a safer online environment for children is similar to car safety for children in the 1970s which included the Green Cross Code, compulsory seat belt wearing and car seat use. While no technical solution alone can solve the issue of internet safety, we believe that it is our duty as an ISP to provide our customers with simple and effective tools like HomeSafe to help them protect their families online. We hope that by offering all new customers an upfront choice about activating HomeSafe they will realise there is a wealth of support available to them."Dido Harding, (Chief Executive) TalkTalk
The move to 'Active Choice' by TalkTalk comes after a recommendation was made in the Bailey Review by the Government which looked in to the commercialisation of children. It is expected other service providers will follow suit in the coming months.