10 years since the Byron Review Are children safer in the digital world?

Girls playing on a game In the 2008 report “Safer children in a digital world”, Professor Tanya Byron made 38 recommendations for government on keeping children safe online.

A decade on, against a backdrop of political changes and technological developments, we have reviewed the progress made in implementing Professor Byron’s recommendations and consider what still needs to be done to protect children and young people online.

Authors: NSPCC
Published: 2018

Of Professor Byron’s 38 recommendations, only 13 have been fully implemented, including:

  • tighter regulation of new forms of online advertising to children;
  • a more consistent approach to age rating online games, and
  • assessment of e-safety standards in schools as part of Ofsted inspections.

There is still much to do – 25 issues remain unaddressed. To make sure children have the same rights and security in the online world that they have offline, we are calling for a number of actions including:

  • Establishing a set of minimum standards and a statutory code of practice for online providers. These standards should:
    • outline processes and procedures to ensure online platforms are safeguarding children effectively – including preventative measures to protect children from abuse
    • provide clear and consistent definitions of online abuse and exploitation
    • have clear and transparent processes for reporting, moderating and removing content from sites; verifying children’s ages and offering support to users when needed.

We hope the Government's Internet Safety Strategy will introduce these measures which would need to be applied consistently to all sites, apps and games where children interact online.

Overview 2
Foreword 4
Introduction 5
Key Recommendations in the Byron Review 5
Strategic objectives for child safety on the internet 6
The internet: Specific Areas for Better Regulation 8
Better Information and Education about E-safety 10
Video Games: stepping up efforts to ensure age-appropriate gaming 12
The NSPCC’s assessment: what needs to happen next to ensure safer children in a digital world? 14
Appendix A 17

Please cite as: NSPCC (2017) Ten years since the Byron Review: are children safer in the digital world? London: NSPCC. 

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