Child protection

[G4-PR6] The Group companies have undertaken numerous initiatives to protect children from content that may harm their psychological and physical development (for example, content that is violent, racist, offensive to religious sentiment, etc.). Among these, precise guidelines have been adopted for classifying and checking distributed content. These cover both the content offered directly by Group Companies and content owned by third parties offering their own services on space purchased within Telecom Italia’s portals. These guidelines are regularly updated in line with regulatory and technological evolution.

For this purpose, the Group, in accordance with current regulations and self-regulatory codes signed, implemented procedures to prevent children from accessing adult content on all the Group’s service platforms (tablet/smart phone app, web, IPTV, TIMvision by decoder, smart TV, Xbox, WAP services).


  • TIMvision: adult content can only be accessed using a decoder. This pay-per-view content can only be viewed after entering the parental control PIN and purchase PIN. The parental control functions are governed by legal provisions and mentioned in the statement delivered to customers after they sign up to the service;
  • IPTV: access is only permitted to subscribers and the subscription can only be taken out by adults. The default setting does not allow adult content to be viewed and can only be changed after the PIN supplied to the adult subscriber has been entered;
  • WAP services: content is always moderated in advance by Telecom Italia, in order to verify compliance with the classification guidelines, and delivered by a centralised platform. The PIN for accessing adult content is supplied by text message, at the customer’s request, after the person to whom the number is allocated is confirmed as being an adult (including through the input of a tax code by the customer).

For services delivered by IP connection, the Total Security software is available: a complete suite of security services based on ZoneAlarm® technology that protects you when surfing the Internet from viruses, hackers and spyware that may attempt to install themselves on your computer. Furthermore, parental control ensures that children can surf the Internet safely, only on sites suited to them, with antispam to protected them unsolicited emails. Total Security includes the following services:

  • antivirus and antispyware, to detect and remove viruses and spyware;
  • parental control, to protect young people against unsuitable content;
  • firewall for networks and programmes to block any attacks by hackers and harmful programs;
  • advanced download protection to analyse downloaded files before they can infect the PC and send a report if they come from a dangerous source;
  • anti-phishing and site status, in order to block unsafe websites which deceive people into revealing personal data;
  • protection against unsolicited emails (SPAM), to block unsolicited emails automatically from email clients (email protocols: POP 3/IMAP incoming only, SMTP outgoing only);
  • wireless PC protection to defend your PC against risks associated with connecting to unprotected networks.

The TIM-Protect solution is the exclusive TIM option for total protection against WEB threats:

  • parental control: protects young people while surfing the Net, filters WEB searches, gives warnings in case of behaviour that is judged to be dangerous;
  • theft protection: protects the device from loss and/or theft, ensuring remote control by sending a simple instruction (block device, find device, delete data, SIM change notification);
  • protection and privacy: protects all access to e-commerce, home banking and social media websites. Ensures privacy by filtering unwanted calls and messages;
  • antivirus: manages the device securely without affecting its operation, protecting it during use against viruses, malware and other threats.

The Company is particularly focussing attention on parental control, with the launch of offers dedicated to the younger generation (under 12s) with the TIM Protect service included, at no additional cost (TIM Young Junior). TIM is also implementing comarketing initiatives with certain operating partners in the “kids” segment, which is particularly sensitive to matters of child protection.

For the purpose of combating online child pornography and computer crime, from an organisational point of view and internally, Telecom Italia has identified the role of “Key contact for the Postal Police”. This person manages relations, and the flow of information, with the Postal Police (CNCPO - National Centre for the Fight against Online Child Pornography, CNAIPIC – National Centre against Digital Crime for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure etc.) and the competent authorities, and has the task of coordinating, within Telecom Italia, the process of abuse management, in accordance with the relevant legislative framework. Furthermore, the Group has adopted the organisational model in accordance with Legislative Decree 231/2001, which defines the tools required to oversee and anticipate offences, particularly the dissemination of child pornography, as well as to ensure the organisational/disciplinary management of computer crimes. For this purpose, Telecom Italia has fielded resources, technologies, processes and tools to prevent and combat “abuse”, meaning any activity committed in violation of the rules of conduct and legislation that governs the use of network services, digital systems or means of communication in general.

In this respect, information initiatives have been implemented, aimed at children, parents and teachers, on the risks connected with the new technologies and navigation on the Internet (chat lines, instant messaging, forums, communities etc.). Among the initiatives involving a number of important public and private stakeholders selected above all on the basis of their activities and commitment to safeguarding the rights of children (including the Postal and Communication Police, Save the Children, Adiconsum, GSMA, FOSI1 etc.), we would mention the following:

  • “abuse” topic area on the Company intranet, which informs company staff and makes them aware of the activities conducted and the tools that exist for preventing digital crimes and protecting children who use the internet services provided;
  • the “Child protection” topic area on the portal, aimed at informing and making end users, and the other stakeholders, aware of the correct behaviour to adopt during navigation on the network, as well as the values and objectives that Telecom Italia pursues to combat digital abuse and protect children;
  • form available on Telecom Italia’s corporate and commercial portals, which can be used by Telecom Italia’s end customers, or by outsider users, to report any crimes involving child pornography encountered while browsing the Internet. There is a guide to completion, and reports can also be submitted anonymously;
  • management of the abuse desks: operational groups who handle abuse differentiated by type of service (consumer and business), formed in accordance with the national and community regulations on child protection, the prevention of digital criminality and the fight against sexual exploitation (child pornography). Their task is to receive alerts from external users/customers regarding alleged computer crimes or the presence of child pornography on the Group’s networks, and then direct them to the relevant department, where necessary involving the relevant authorities through the key contact for the Postal Police;
  • the booklet “Born with the Network,” dedicated to the adult-parent public for the purposes of:
    • illustrating the fundamental rules for the safe use of the Internet;
    • alerting people to the dangers that can be hidden on the network;
    • providing the tools to convey the rules of conduct to children and guide them in the selection of content to use;
  • web filtering: in accordance with the Implementing Decree of Law 38/2006 (Gentiloni Decree) which defines the technical prerequisites of filtering tools that providers of Internet network connections must use in order to prevent access to sites identified by the Postal Police through the CNCPO. Telecom Italia has also introduced a filtering system for foreign websites with child pornography content;
  • drafting of “Guidelines for combating child pornography on line”, which are intended to make the identification of cases of child pornography to be notified to the Postal Police as objective and uniform as possible. The aim is to minimise any potential interpretation uncertainty of the subjects concerned (chat moderators and/or community services, developers, abuse desk operators etc.) and to ensure compliance with current regulations. The guidelines are also modelled on those provided and implemented by the CNCPO and the major external organisations operating in this field (Save The Children, Telefono Arcobaleno etc.);
  • participation in the “GSMA - Mobile Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Content” Working Group in the context of the GSM Association, for technological, policy and communications initiatives aimed at protecting children in the mobile phone sector. Amongst other aspects, the initiative deals with awareness raising, the fight against illegal content and the classification of content, and an important part of the programme is dedicated to Safer Internet Centres, present in more than 30 different countries, to provide support and information for children, parents and teachers. The scope of the activities implemented by the Alliance includes the agreement stipulated with Child Helpline International, aimed at protecting children and safeguarding their right to be heard. Telecom Italia has subscribed to the initiative, undertaking to support child helplines on a national level;
  • participation in the European initiative ICT Coalition for Children On-line, launched in 2012. Telecom Italia is an active
  • member and participates in the coalition’s work, as it promotes safe, responsible use of the internet. Telecom Italia has subscribed to the principles adopted by the Coalition, participates in the six-monthly forums (in this context, Telecom Italia also presented the EducaTI initiative) and the meetings organised by the Coalition with the important stakeholders (e.g. NGOs) and the European Commission and European Parliament. In April 2014, the first report was published on the implementation of principles by the businesses, drawn up by an independent subject. At the same time, Telecom Italia has confirmed the implementation of the European Framework for Safer Mobile Use, stipulated in 20007. In 2015, a study was commissioned of an independent consultant, focused on the trend of the use of ICT services by children and the younger generation, the results of which were unveiled in February 2016;
  • participation in the European Commission initiatives under the scope of the Better Internet for Kids (“BIK”) initiative for the definition and implementation of the principles and technologies necessary to make the internet a safe place for children (Telecom Italia took part in the “CEO Coalition” initiative organised by the European Commission, currently on stand-by). Telecom Italia also took part in the 2015 edition of the Safer Internet Forum - an international conference organised each year by the European Commission under the scope of the BIK - dedicated to “Breaking down barriers for a better internet”;
  • cooperation in the context of the Italian Child Abduction Alert System (ICAAS) project, for the creation of a web portal providing an “early warning” of missing children. In this context, in 2011, Telecom Italia signed the “Allarme Scomparsa Minore” (missing child alert) agreement with the Ministry of the Interior’s Public Safety Department;
  • participation in the FOSI. In September 2015, Telecom Italia was involved in the organisation of the conference “Global Trends in Online Safety: Creating a National Framework”, an opportunity to share international experiences in matters of internet safety with some important international stakeholders, including the European Commission;
  • Telecom Italia is a member of the COP (Child Online Protection) Board of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), seeking to protect children.

The Group has also implemented appropriate filtering and abuse prevention systems for services delivered in Brazil. In particular, WAP services with adult content require user authentication while the delivery of adult videos on IP platforms, which is only available in on demand mode, requires a PIN to be entered. All the content is monitored and rated by the suppliers and, subsequently, by TIM Brasil, which limits their portfolio to level 3.2 of the international rating system.

Customers who wish to purchase adult content, have to access the relevant portal, click on “ADULT”, confirm that they are adults and enter a password (parental control).

TIM Brasil has signed an agreement with Safernet to prevent sexual abuse and paedophilia on the internet. The agreement covers cooperation and the centralisation of any reports regarding abuse of a sexual nature and the development of an awareness-building campaign on the appropriate and safe use of the internet.


1 Family Online Safety Institute.