Monday, May 11, 2015

Petition to Urge Cellular Carriers to Provide Parents with Content Filters on 4G LTE


You’ve probably heard the advertisements from Verizon that parents who purchase cell phones for their children are offered content filters to protect children from pornography, drugs, alcohol and other inappropriate content. But WAIT. If you provide your child with a smartphone on 4G...no such filter exists through your wireless carrier.


Verizon's Advertised Free Content Filters "Set boundaries to help ensure your kids can view only age appropriate content from their wireless device."
Many parents today ‘hand-down’ smartphones to their children when the parent upgrades their device. Doing so provides full, unfiltered access to the internet through cellular carriers. The carriers recognize the need to provide safeguards for youth and do so on 3G devices. In fact, they have undoubtedly spent thousands advertising these parental controls for parents, but only make them available on older technology models.


Verizon's fine print on a MyVerizon account page: "The cell phone associated with this  number is not compatible with the Content Filters service. If this a 4G LTE device please check back at a later date as we are currently working to make these devices compatible."
Cell carriers need to keep opt-in content filters up to date with all models of devices available and used by children today.  Even better, carriers could collect the birth year of the individual using the account and match the age appropriate content allowed to the device with the age levels they already have established.  


Too many parents are unknowingly providing an on-ramp to developmentally inappropriate content by purchasing a smartphone for a minor, only to discover that advertised content filters don’t work on 4G devices.

Please join me in signing this petition to urge cellular carriers to offer opt-in web content filtering for 4G LTE devices. Child safety needs should keep up with the evolution of technology. Socially responsible companies need to take action to protect children.

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