FOSI Releases Recommendations for Next Administration

November 30, 2016

WASHINGTON – Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) CEO Stephen Balkam today released a set of recommendations for the Trump transition team to create a focused response to the challenges and opportunities in online safety.

The four recommendations for the new Administration, presented at the FOSI 2016 Annual Conference, include:

1) Create the post of Chief Online Safety Officer in the office of the Chief Technology Officer to bring together the online safety efforts across the Administration and departments including the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Departments of Education, Commerce, Justice and State as well as the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

2) Create a cross-agency Online Safety Working Group, chaired by the Chief Online Safety Officer, to regularly convene relevant government departments involved in online safety work and to hear from relevant industry, NGO and academic bodies on these issues.

3) Establish an annual White House Online Safety Summit bringing together leaders in government, industry, NGOs, education and scientists to address the concerns and challenges, particularly for children and young people online, as well as to highlight best practices and the many positive benefits of our digital lives.

4) Create a $25 million Research and Education Fund over five years to benchmark the various trust and safety indices and to create evidence-based educational programs and messaging for children and their parents.

“We need a paradigm shift in what we do, say and teach about online safety,” said Stephen Balkam. “We look to the next Administration to provide leadership and support at the highest levels to help make the online world a safer place for children. And we welcome Mrs. Trump’s commitment to tackle cyberbullying as her key focus as First Lady.”

In addition to releasing these recommendations, FOSI, together with the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) released a white paper entitled, “Kids & the Connected Home: Privacy in the Age of Connected Dolls, Talking Dinosaurs, and Battling Robots.” The paper outlines the variety and growing array of devices, tools and children’s toys that are connected to the Internet.

Now in its 10th year, the Family Online Safety Institute annual conference will address issues as diverse as cyberbullying, online harassment, virtual and augmented reality and the impact of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things on children and their families. Keynote speakers include FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny, Ambassador Catherine Russell and Rep. Katherine Clark.

About FOSI

The Family Online Safety Institute is an international, non-profit organization that works to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes leaders in industry, government and the non-profit sectors to collaborate and innovate new solutions and policies in the field of online safety. Through research, resources, events and special projects, FOSI promotes a culture of responsibility online and encourages a sense of digital citizenship for all. FOSI's membership includes 30 of the leading Internet and telecommunications companies around the world.