Washington, D.C. -- The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), the nation's leading organization dedicated to educating parents, companies, children, educators and policymakers about Internet safety, today announces Mattel as its newest member.
The partnership comes about at a turning point in online safety, as attention shifts to the implications of connected toys and devices for children. As a leading toy company dedicated to learning and development through play, Mattel has manufactured connected toys such as Hello Barbie and pursued a number of partnerships in the STEM and digital learning spaces. Most recently, they launched Kamigami, a kids’ introduction to do-it-yourself robotics.
“Mattel provides invaluable insights into the world of connected toys, a new area of high interest for both policymakers and parents,” said Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute. “FOSI looks forward to the opportunity to work with Mattel to explore best practices and how to continue to implement safety and privacy by design in this critical, quickly evolving field.”
The work of Mattel is based on the idea that technology and physical digital play can inspire children and provide unparalleled learning opportunities. FOSI works from the complementary view that as long as we acknowledge the risks and mitigate the harms, we can reap the rewards of our and our children's online lives. As an organization that largely focuses on educating parents, FOSI welcomes Mattel’s expertise while exploring how toys, wearables and other connected devices will become integrated into the daily lives of connected families.
“Mattel’s connected products are designed to introduce kids to digital technologies in a safe environment by offering fun, meaningful play experiences that assist with development and learning,” said Sven Gerjets, Chief Technology Officer, Mattel. “We are thrilled to be a partner with FOSI and play this critical role in making the online world safer for kids and their families.”
Mr. Gerjets will also act as representative on the FOSI Board of Directors as Mattel joins a high-profile community of FOSI members including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon and others.
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.
Mattel is a global learning, development and play company that inspires the next generation of kids to shape a brighter tomorrow. Through our portfolio of iconic consumer brands, including American Girl®, Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Hot Wheels® and Thomas & Friends™, we create systems of play, content and experiences that help kids unlock their full potential. Mattel also creates inspiring and innovative products in collaboration with leading entertainment and technology companies as well as other partners. With a global workforce of approximately 32,000 people, Mattel operates in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Visit us online at www.mattel.com.