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UK ISP TalkTalk Reveals that 1 in 3 New Customers Enable Parental Controls

Thursday, April 19th, 2012 (9:57 am) - Score 519

Broadband ISP TalkTalk has revealed that, since introducing ‘Active Choice‘ last year, one in three new customers are choosing to turn on parental controls (e.g. adult website blocks and other internet security measures) when they join the service.

Last October 2011 all four of the UK internet access markets largest ISPs (BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Sky Broadband etc.) officially agreed to help protect children online by, among other things, providing customers (e.g. parents) with an “enforced” option to block adult web content at the point of purchase (Related Code of Practice).

TalkTalk was one of the first out of the gate with its sometimes controversial HomeSafe solution and as a result they’ve also been keen to make the post out of yesterdays Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection (here).

TalkTalks Statement

Since we introduced this ‘active choice’, around one in three new customers are choosing to turn on parental controls which is roughly equivalent to the number of UK households with children in them. We’re delighted that the response has been so positive; it shows that active choice works. Parents really do value being offered parental controls upfront.

One of the key recommendations of the Inquiry’s report is that ‘active choice’ plans should be sped up. Having seen the success of this for new customers, we now feel the time is right to test asking all our customers to make a decision about whether they want to activate HomeSafe.

TalkTalk has so far managed to get over 350,000 customers to activate HomeSafe, which they admit is only “a small number of UK households“, although they now plan to increase this to 1 Million families using HomeSafe by March 2013.

On the other hand the fact that 1 in 3 chose to enable internet content filtering at signup is also a clear indication that the other two thirds don’t want it. But at least there’s a choice and so long as people can choose then that’s good. But we strongly oppose the imposition of mandatory filters that opt you in by default.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Timeless says:

    more proof that if something is offered ppl can either choose to use it or choose not to.

  2. really? says:

    The last time I tried to use it you could not turn on parental controls from eg. 6pm to 6am the following morning as it cannot distinguish that the 2 times requested are on different days (therefore you could only set controls to work from 6pm to 12(midnight)

    I’m sure any tech savvie teenager would work out this and log on to restricted sites ar 12.01am

    They may have rectified this in a subsequent system release (?) since I last tried but seems to have been a glaringly obvious thing missed in the system’s development.

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