List of Proposed Workshops
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Workshop Proposals 2010


Workshop Number: 37

Title: The New Breed of Location Services - Challenges for Child Safety

Concise Description:
Information about a person’s physical location is sensitive, particularly if it is rendered in real time or it discloses historic patterns of movement. Where the information relates to the physical whereabouts of a child it becomes doubly sensitive. Location is also an aspect of behaviour and therefore, in an online context, it raises potential concerns about targeted marketing and advertising practices. Could these be used to exploit the vulnerabilities or naiveté of young people?

Some limited forms of online location services have been available in a small number of countries since 2002/3 using the GSM network. However, new types of location service are now emerging. They can operate globally over the internet. The new services can use data which is either wholly or partly outside the control of the mobile phone networks. Not only that, at the moment most of the new applications that collect and utilise location data require no prior approval or authorisation either by a mobile phone company, a mobile phone handset manufacturer or any web site owner. The one exception appears to be Apple. Apple needs to authorise all applications to run on their branded products. This gives them a great deal of direct control.

What is to be done?

This panel will discuss what safeguards are necessary to ensure that children and young people are not put in danger from the new breed of location services. It will also discuss what measures should be taken, and by whom, to ensure minors are not exposed to unjustifiable or age inappropriate commercial or other forms of exploitation through targeted advertising that utilises location data.

The panel will consider whether or to what extent these new types of location services raise any fundamental or broader issues about the development of a “surveillance society” particularly if, for example through geo-tagging, such services start to become linked with other aspects of modern mobile devices’ functionality? Is self-regulation an option or are the challenges simply too large and complex? Are the commercial interests of the different industry players too diverse or antagonistic to make self regulation a viable potential option? If trans national action is needed, who should take it?

Which of the five broad IGF Themes or the Cross-Cutting Priorities does your workshop fall under?
Security, Openness and Privacy

Have you organized an IGF workshop before? Yes
If so, please provide the link to the report:

Provide the names and affiliations of the panellists you are planning to invite:
Chair: Diana Sutton, NSPCC
Stephen Deadman, Vodafone
John Carr, eNACSO
Jonne Soininen, Nokia
Larry Magid, ConnectSafely
John Morris, CDT
Sabine Verheyen MEP

Provide the name of the organizer(s) of the workshop and their affiliation to various stakeholder groups:
The European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNACSO) is an EU-wide NGO with member organizations drawn from 18 EU Member States. eNACSO also has Associate Members drawn from non-EU countries.

Organization:European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online

Contact Person: John Carr