Mobile UK covers a broad range of topics in the domain of public policy. The best way to have an impact in this complex environment is to participate in, partner with, or otherwise engage with a broad range of stakeholders. The following is a [non-exhaustive] list of Mobile UK’s principal affiliates.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)
Since 2004, the UK’s mobile operators have provided filters to restrict access by children to inappropriate content on the internet. Content of an adult nature is not made available until a customer has demonstrated, through age verification, that he or she is at least 18 years old. Mobile UK has contracted the BBFC to provide an independent framework that mobile operators use to help determine what is and what is not filtered out in this process, which has met with broad public support. Details of the arrangement are set out more fully here.
Out of Your Hands (OoYH)
UK mobile operators support the Out of Your Hands programme, in partnership with Financial Fraud Action. The OoYH resource is a collection of free national curriculum materials designed to help children act safely and responsibly when using a mobile phone, making financial transactions and using digital media. The resources allow teachers to address a broad range of topics supporting PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education), citizenship, English, drama, ICT and business studies.
UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS)
Mobile UK is a member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety. With members drawn from government, industry, law, academia and the charity sector, the group includes more than 200 organisations working in partnership to help keep children safe online.
The GSMA Association
Mobile UK works closely with the GSMA (the global trade body for the mobile sector), across a range of public policy matters, such as banking regulation, nuisance calls and child protection. This ensures that, where relevant, UK operators are pursuing policies that are consistent with other nations and regions.
Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)
All members of Mobile UK are subscribers to the Internet Watch Foundation, with whom we work closely to identify and remove illegal images of child abuse hosted in the UK. Over the past 15 years, our partnership has reduced the amount of such material hosted in the UK from 18% of the total to less than 1%.
Under the terms of Mobile UK’s code of practice, all mobile operators receive the IWF’s list of URLs containing potentially illegal content. In order to protect customers from being exposed to such content (and thereby committing an offence), the operators block internet browsers from accessing any URL on the list.
Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP)
Mobile digital ad-spend was £2.6bn in 2015. Mobile UK is a member of the Committee of Advertising Practice (non-broadcast), which writes and maintains the UK Advertising Codes, as administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The non-broadcast code is a self-regulatory code that has been in existence since 1961.
Child Rescue Alert
Mobile UK sits on the steering board of Child Rescue Alert, a nationwide system run by the National Crime Agency, the charity Missing People and the technology company Groupcall. It has the potential to save a child’s life in the event that the child is missing and believed to be at imminent risk of serious harm or death. Through its partnership with mobile operators, CRA is able to send free text alerts to anyone that has registered to receive them. Registration is free and takes just minutes to complete, online or by text. By taking 30 seconds to register, anyone could save a child’s life.