Kiriyenko: the state should support IT companies in protecting children from online risks

Kiriyenko: the state should support IT companies in protecting children from online risks

IT companies should be responsible for protecting children from online risks with the government support, but not with restrictive legislative measures. This opinion was expressed by the First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation Sergei Kiriyenko at a presentation dedicated to the signing of the “Digital Ethics of Childhood” Charter. 

“There are things that cannot be effectively solved by the government regulations. It is extremely important that this is the responsibility for creating conditions for self-realization, for the development of children, while protecting and ensuring their safety. It works well, if these are not just state requirements. It seems to me, it is actually the state here that rather should join, help and support than “going full-force” with some kind of restrictive, prohibitive measures,” he said.

According to Kiriyenko, on the one hand, it is important to create the right conditions for children, to give them maximum opportunities for development. And on the other there is a need to protect them from risks from which they are not able to protect themselves yet. He added that it is important to strike a balance, since the Internet is a space for the development of opportunities, including for the children themselves. 

“Therefore, work and responsibilities are shared between the IT companies, the pedagogical community, parents, and the state. It only works as a whole and no other way. And it’s great that not the state with a rather rigid structure of legislation is the initiator here, but the Alliance for the Protection of Children in the Digital Environment with a flexible structure, which consists of the largest IT companies, leaders in this area,” he said.

Kiriyenko expressed hope that foreign companies would also take part in the implementation of the Charter. “Russia is always open for the work with the world's largest IT companies, whose values, strategy and ideology coincide and do not contradict with what is laid down in the philosophy of creating the Alliance, and what is laid down in the Charter,” he assured.

Dialogue with the younger generation

According to Kiriyenko, the younger generation is counting on their opinions to be heard while developing the standards of protecting children in the digital environment.

According to him, it is very important that both the Alliance for the Protection of Children in the Digital Environment, founded by the largest IT companies and media holdings in the Russian Federation, and the Charter “form another fundamental thing – all this work should be carried out in a dialogue with the children themselves”.

“All work with the younger generation suggests that they have a very high value of self-realization, but they don’t want to just get the “finished product”. They really want it to be a full-fledged, honest and open dialogue, where their opinion is also heard and taken into account. And the fact that the Charter calls for children’s feedback, that this is laid down as a basic principle in the Charter seems an extremely right step,” Kiriyenko said.

The Charter “Digital Ethics of Childhood” contains values ​​and rules of behaviour, the observance of which will create a digital environment that is safe and favourable for the development and creative self-realization of children. The document was developed by nine largest IT and media companies in Russia, which previously founded the Alliance. 

Center for Global IT-Cooperation also took part in the development of the document and the research of the experience in this field as a member of the Alliance’s consultive group.