Mastercard joins Internet Watch Foundation in fight to keep internet safe

  • The new partnership between the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and financial services giant Mastercard will help improve internet safety at a critical moment.
  • Mastercard has joined the IWF as part of a broader stance against the spread of unauthorised and illegal content.
  • In addition, a financial donation was made by Mastercard to support the IWF’s efforts to find and remove child sexual exploitation material from the internet.
  • Mastercard has also recently extended standards for merchants who sell adult content.
  • These standards require clear consent from anyone featured in images and controls in place to monitor, block and, where necessary, take down all content as appropriate.
  • Full story, here.

Roblox is introducing voice chat with a ‘Spatial Voice’ feature

  • Roblox is taking its first steps to introduce a voice chat feature called “Spatial Voice” to select developers in an invitation-only beta.
  • Spatial Voice was announced on Thursday and aims to reflect the way voices carry in the real world, requiring the user to be near another player to speak to them.
  • This is similar to the ‘Proximity Chat’ modification (or mod) on the popular game Among Us.
  • Adding voice chat capabilities raises concerns about how the company will moderate conversations, especially given Roblox’s popularity with children.
  • Roblox plans to roll out the voice chat feature slowly, starting with access to 5,000 developers over the age of 13.
  • Full story, here.

Religious institutions are failing to protect children from abuse

  • A report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) discovered cases of abuse in most major UK religions with some religious organisations found to have no child protection policies in place at all.
  • The report highlights the difficulty in knowing the exact scale of child sexual abuse in religious settings as there is likely to be significant under-reporting.
  • The inquiry examined evidence from 38 religious’ groups in England and Wales including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and non-conformist Christian denominations.
  • Findings included that in some cases there were no effective child protection policies, that religious leaders blamed victims for abuse and put the organisation’s reputation above their needs and discouraged external reporting of allegations.
  • The report recommended that all religious organisations should have a child protection policy and supporting procedures.
  • Full story, here.

WhatsApp issued second-largest GDPR fine of €225m

  • Ireland’s data watchdog has fined WhatsApp €225m (£193m) for breaching privacy regulations.
  • It’s the largest fine given by the Irish Data Protection Commission, and the second highest under EU GDPR rules after the fine issued to Amazon in July.
  • WhatsApp disagrees with the decision and severity of the fine and plans to appeal.
  • The fine relates to an investigation which began in 2018 related to whether WhatsApp conformed with EU data rules about transparency.
  • Issues included whether WhatsApp provided enough information to users about how their data is processed and if its privacy policies were clear enough.
  • These policies have been updated several times since 2018.
  • Full story, here.