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EE PhoneSmart Licence Tries to Educate Kids About Online Behaviour

Thursday, October 21st, 2021 (11:14 am) - Score 960
EE-PhoneSmart-Licence

Mobile operator EE today claims to have launched the UK’s first “phone licence” (PhoneSmart Licence), which is really just a free educational website that aims to teach young people about “how to stay safe and be kind online“, and it will also help parents and guardians with related knowledge.

The free course will take about 1 hour to complete and is based around a range of storylines, interactive quizzes and activities. In other words, if parents can’t be bothered to teach them all this stuff (or don’t know much about it themselves), then EE will give it a go on your behalf – assuming you can get any children to willingly sit down and seriously complete it.

The press release also talks a lot about what happens when children get their first phone. A survey of UK parents, commissioned by EE, highlighted how 30% of parents are less worried about their child’s first day of school than them receiving their first phone. At this point a cynic might almost think that this is just a clever marketing campaign to help ingrain EE’s brand in the subconscious of future consumers, while checking off a few boxes before the Online Harms law becomes real.

The survey also revealed that just 21% of parents think children should be given complete privacy when it comes to their phone, while 69% believe it is ok to check their child’s phone while they are asleep. Furthermore, it highlighted that, prior to giving their child a phone, 87% of parents had a conversation with their kids around online dangers, positioning phone safety as a prevalent issue for parents.

Marc Allera, CEO of EE, said:

“Our EE PhoneSmart Licence is designed to prepare children for the big wide world that a connected device can open up for them, and give them the tools to stay safe and be kind online.

As the UK’s best network, and with a desire to connect for good, we’re playing our part in helping educate young people – not just EE customers – with a free online programme that will gives parents and guardians the confidence to prepare their child with the digital skills they need for a brighter future.”

The new “licence” reflects a collaboration with experts from Internet Matters, and in consultation with Home-Start, ChildNet, Marie Collins Foundation and the Anti-Bullying Alliance. The website itself is available to everyone, not just EE customers.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Pamela Hall says:

    This ad should be pulled. It’s intentions may be laudable and who doesn’t want to keep kids safe on line, or it may be clever marketing, but it uses ‘creepy old man’. ‘Old’ with a sequence morphing from a young pop star on a poster into a man with a big grey beard. It’s teaching children to be scared of old men, ‘old’ men. To a child 25+ is old but here we have a very definite ‘old’ man. Abusers come in all shapes and sizes and ages, yet here the lazy stereotype of an old man. ‘Stupid old git’, ‘ugly old’, ‘boring old fart’, ‘dirty old man’, ‘creepy old man’. This ad is targeting older men, older persons with a dangerous stereotype. It’s insulting, discriminatory, appallingly calculated, nastily presented. If any other demographic was targeted like this there would rightly be an outcry but ‘old’ is ok to use. To use against a demographic that has little resources to fight back.

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