May 15, 2013 | Dublin, Ireland
2013 European Forum
Year of the Digital Citizen: Online Safety, Data Protection and Privacy



May 15, 2013


Google EMEA Headquarters, Dublin, Ireland

On May 15th, 2013, the Family Online Safety Institute was delighted to host its annual European Forum at Google’s EU Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. With a focus on online safety, data protection and privacy, this event gave the opportunity for our delegates and attendees to discuss these critical issues and exchange ideas, opinions, strategies and priorities. 

The day began with a keynote address by Frances Fitzgerald, the Irish Minister for Children & Youth Affairs. Her insightful and thought provoking address can be found here. 

Following Minister Fitzgerald was FOSI’s CEO Stephen Balkam, who introduced FOSI’s newest initiative, A Platform for Good (PfG). It was the first step in a longer-term effort to internationalize PfG and to make it available to parents, teachers and teens throughout the world. Stephen’s presentation can be found here. 

To address the three key areas of attention for the forum: online safety, data protection and privacy, FOSI held three separate panels to focus on the issues surrounding each of these topics. The panels were full of meaningful and intense discussion, with speakers from the European Commission, the Irish Data Protection Commissioner, representatives from Facebook, Twitter, Google, leading researchers and other panelists. The role of the CEO coalition was discussed, as well as the importance of awareness and education, and the necessity of giving parents tools to make decisions for their own families. All three panels were highly interactive, with a substantial amount of attendee input. 

To close the event, UK MP Claire Perry, gave a short keynote address to highlight some of the areas of concern in the UK, and to emphasize particular areas of interest in her new role as Special Advisor to the UK Prime Minister on the sexualization and commercialization of childhood. 

Overall, FOSI’s 2013 European Forum was interactive, challenging, and thought-provoking. We thank our keynotes, panelists and audience members for making it such a success.