World's first public WiFi accreditation scheme launches today

17 Jul 2014 UK SIC

The Registered Digital Institute (RDI), has today launched ‘Friendly WiFi’, the world’s first accreditation scheme designed to verify whether a business’ public Wi-Fi service meets a minimum level of filtering to block out access to pornographic and child abuse websites. ‘Friendly WiFi’ aims to keep children and young people safe from viewing inappropriate material when logged into publicWi-Fi offered in cafes, shops, hotels and restaurants across the UK. Following the Prime Minister’s push to UK’s main Wi-Fi providers to commit to applying a level of filtering across all oftheir standard public Wi-Fi services, the RDI began work on this scheme 12 months ago in collaboration with The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), theGovernment and the UK’s main WiFi Providers, to design, develop and launch the UK-wide ‘FriendlyWiFi’ scheme that we see today.

We, at the UK Safer Internet Centre, are delighted to support the ‘Friendly WiFi’ initiative as it will help protect chidren and young people who use public WiFi from accessing inappropriate material online. It will reassure parents that their children will not come across such content but as always it is important to emphasise that this isn’t the whole solution to protecting children from harmful digital content and that education and an ongoing dialogue between young people and their parents remains vital. 

A number of organisations have already expressed their support for the ‘Friendly WiFi’ scheme including the NSPCC and the partners within the UK Safer Internet Centre – Childnet, South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation. Tesco, a scheme stakeholder have stated that their customers will see the ‘Friendly WiFi’ logo displayed when they log-in to use the free public Wi-Fi, offered both in store and in Tesco coffee shops. Samsung and Starbucks have aso signed up to be members of the scheme.

Look out for this logo when accessing WiFi in public places: 

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