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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

Our approach to digital youth protection

Our strategy to protect children and young people from harm when using digital media is based on three pillars.

  • We provide attractive, age-appropriate offers for children and give parents and guardians tools (filters) that they can use to restrict the access minors have to harmful content.
  • We participate in combating child abuse and its depiction to the extent that this is permitted within the national legal framework.
  • We promote skills to help people use the internet safely.

We also collaborate closely with prosecuting authorities and NGOs as well as other partners from business, politics, and society to ban online content that is harmful to children and young people. We have documented our commitment to protecting minors from unsuitable media content in Germany in relevant codes and introduced minimum standards. In 2007, we committed ourselves to fighting child pornography on the internet throughout the European Union. At a global level, we have been a member of the global association of mobile providers, GSMA, since 2008, which pursues the same objectives.

In order to better coordinate our activities within the Group, we also approved a list of general guidelines in 2013 for our activities to help protect minors from unsuitable media content and made these guidelines mandatory at international level, thereby setting new standards in our markets. In consideration of their particular cultural situation and business model, each international subsidiary in the European Union can further specify these measures, adopt additional measures, and also determine their own strategic focal points.

Cooperating with organizations for the protection of minors

Because protecting minors from unsuitable media content poses a challenge that affects many industries, we cooperate with different organizations for the protection of minors and participate in coalitions that coordinate the involvement of companies and organizations from the internet and media sector.

  • For example, we are a member of the “Alliance to better protect minors online”, which has set out to make the internet a safer place for kids.
  • We have also taken a leading role in the “ICT img Coalition for Children Online.” In this coalition, we pursue a comprehensive cross-industry approach based on six principles that expressly includes helping young people learn media skills.

In 2013, as part of both coalitions, we announced plans to implement an EU-wide set of measures based on the principles of the ICT Coalition. We provide regular and transparent updates regarding implementation of the set of measures adopted in 2013; our most recent report was in 2019. The ICT Coalition published an annual report in 2014 on the implementation of corresponding measures at all of the companies represented in the ICT coalition. The report, which was written by an independent expert from the Dublin Institute of Technology, comes to the conclusion that Deutsche Telekom’s approach to implementing the ICT Coalition's principles is exemplary.