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TalkTalk roll out 'active choice' for HomeSafe at signup
Tuesday 07 February 2012 00:11:54 by Hayley Mitchell

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.


Posted by zyborg47 over 5 years ago
from what i have heard it makes no difference if it is enabled or disabled, they still follow you around online. Phorm comes to mind, would not be surprised if it uses the same technology.
Posted by doowles over 5 years ago
Although I hate internet censorship, I absolutely support this initiative. Keeping children safe should be a standard option on any broadband product.
Posted by otester over 5 years ago

So it's ok unless your the one being censored?
Posted by zyborg47 over 5 years ago
Anyone who relies on that service or any service for that matter to keep their child safe is a fool. the only way is to keep a eye on them, simple as that.
Posted by pfvincent over 5 years ago
I agree with zyborg47 that parents need to keep an eye on their children, as no software control can protect them on social networking sites. The risk with this initiative is that parents will think they have done all they need to by switching the system on.
However, the value of any system depends on its accuracy, both to block sites it should, and not to block sites it shouldn't. I have no knowledge of this system, but I have encountered incorrect blocking on our office network. Incorrect blocking may lead to a system being switched off, without any other protection being implemented.
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