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February 23, 2023

App to block child abuse images gets £1.8 million EU funding

  • The Protech project are developing a new app called ‘Salus’ which will use AI to identify potential child abuse material and block users from seeing it.
  • It will be tested with volunteers who have sought help because they are compelled to view illegal images and want to refrain from doing so.
  • The Internet Watch Foundation will help to train the AI technology that has been developed by UK company SafeToNet.
  • Members of the project argue that policing alone was not going to stop the downloading of child sexual abuse material.
  • One spokesperson claims they are working on the ‘prevention side’ to reduce the demand and accessibility of these images.
  • For more on this story, please visit the BBC News website.

1 in 4 children’s apps on Google Play collecting personal data from kids

  • New research from Comparitech found as many as one in four apps aimed at children on the Google Play app do not comply with the Information Commissioner’s age-appropriate design code.
  • The vast majority of children’s apps examined violated the guidelines in some way, with the majority collecting personal data of some kind.
  • The age-appropriate design code or Children’s Code sets out standards which online services must follow to comply with UK data protection law for children.
  • Information collected without consideration for these laws included IP addresses, user’s names, addresses, telephone numbers or geolocations.
  • For the full story, please visit the Independent’s website.

Amazon University Esports launches ‘metaverse’ to connect esports and education sectors

  • The virtual world project ‘University World’ allows students to use the metaverse to connect across the globe.
  • Users will be able to customise their avatar, names and perform a series of pre-determined movements and gestures.
  • The project creates a worldwide community for players as users can play minigames to score points and win prizes. An integrated chat feature will also enable players to interact and communicate.
  • The project is available in seven countries and is set to be updated with additional features including, educational materials, news and video workshops.
  • For the full story, please visit the esports insider website.

Parents abused by children under 6, survey finds

  • Parental Education Growth Support (PEGS) in Shropshire conducted a survey of 200 parents, with a quarter of parents reporting ‘violent, harmful or coercive behaviours’ began in their children before they turned six.
  • Although 30% thought about contacting professionals, they did not, due to fear of their children being ‘taken away’.
  • One parent reported physical abuse from her son when he was ten years old. The abuse included punching her, breaking windows, and threatening behaviours such as ‘getting knives out’.
  • Another parent reported that after dealing with physical abuse from her daughter, which included glasses and computers being smashed, and furniture being broken, she asked the relevant authorities to remove her daughter from her home.
  • Wolverhampton Council stated that they take safeguarding issues such as this, ‘very seriously’.
  • They have stated that they provide support to families based on their individual needs.
  • PEGS have also supported families going through child-to-parent abuse, by providing parents with appropriate responses to safeguard themselves.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.