Recordings from our European Forum are available on the FOSI YouTube Channel.
On Thursday, 23rd June, the Family Online Safety Institute hosted its 2022 European Forum, entitled “Online Safety: A Transatlantic View.” It was our first in-person event since 2019 and was hosted by Google, with additional sponsorship and support provided by TikTok and Yoti. The event aimed to capture multiple perspectives on the online safety landscape between the US, UK, and Europe.
The day opened with remarks from Stephen Balkam (FOSI) and Markham Cho Erickson (Google); who spoke to both the opportunities and challenges that technology presents, and announced Google’s sponsorship of FOSI’s upcoming research on age assurance. Baroness Beeban Kidron OBE, Founder of the 5Rights Foundation, delivered a keynote address on the mandate of responsibility, the balance of rights and access, and setting high standards for how parents, policymakers and companies can do better. She discussed the necessity of translating children’s rights into the digital world, how governments must work together to set a minimum floor for online safety, and how industry must push to innovate both safer and more private solutions to children’s online safety.
The first panel of the day, “Can We Regulate Online Safety?” was moderated by Julie Dawson (Yoti), and featured panelists Martin Drechsler (FSM), Alexandra Evans (TikTok), Fred Langford (Ofcom), and Sonia Livingstone (London School of Economics). The discussion covered high level points such as the intersection of privacy and safety online and attempts by governments and industry to balance free speech and expression with creating safe online environments for all populations, especially children and teens, as well as more specific examples of industry self-regulation and safety by design principles.
The forum’s second panel, “Making Age Assurance a Reality,” was moderated by Stephen Balkam, and featured panelists Asha Allen (CDT), Iain Corby (Age Verification Providers Association), Almudena Lara (Google), Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov (The LEGO Group), and Dr. Rachel O’Connell (TrustElevate). The panel discussed the advantages and disadvantages of age assurance practices including verifiable parental consent, and the delicate balance that is needed between the protection of minors, the proportionality of risk and data minimization, and the importance of child rights. This conversation explored what would make for a holistic approach to age assurance in regards to industry, regulators, users, and other stakeholders.
Thank you to our sponsors:
Markham Cho Erickson
JUNE 23, 2022
Registration, Breakfast, & Networking
- Stephen Balkam, FOSI
- Markham Cho Erickson, Google
- Baroness Beeban Kidron, OBE, 5Rights Foundation
Plenary Panel - "Can We Regulate Online Safety?"
Recent online safety regulations and proposed policies in the UK and EU have changed how the online products and platforms we use every day operate and what they look like. This plenary panel discussed how Europe became a global leader in regulating online safety while the US has yet to pass any of its tech regulation proposals. With experts and leaders in industry, government, and civil society, this panel closely examined the significant similarities and drastic differences between these transatlantic policies and how to best improve online safety through regulation.
- Julie Dawson, Yoti (Moderator)
- Martin Drechsler, FSM
- Alexandra Evans, TikTok
- Fred Langford, Ofcom
- Sonia Livingstone, London School of Economics
Networking & Refreshments Break
Plenary Panel - "Making Age Assurance a Reality"
As governments begin to require online platforms and services to offer age-appropriate content and experiences, a fundamentally important and complicated question arises: how do companies know how old their users are? Age assurance and verification are at the nexus of creating safe and appropriate online experiences for all users while attempting to minimize data collection and processing. This expert panel explored some of the top age assurance techniques as they discussed the best practices and tradeoffs of establishing safe, engaging, age-appropriate experiences for users.
- Stephen Balkam, FOSI (Moderator)
- Asha Allen, Center for Democracy & Technology, Europe
- Iain Corby, Age Verification Providers Association
- Almudena Lara, Google
- Dr. Elizabeth Milovidov, The LEGO Group
- Dr. Rachel O’Connell, TrustElevate