RIM Promises New Parental Controls Following OFCOM Meeting

MOBILESPACE—Research in Motion has promised to introduce new parental control features in future versions of the operating systems used in its Blackberry smartphones after being called in earlier this week to discuss its filtering deficiencies with U.K. telecom regulator OFCOM. The Canadian company was calling by OFCOM after complaints were received that minors could access porn on Blackberries because the phones lack parental controls that can be controlled by mobile operators.

In the aftermath of the meeting, according to Mobile magazine, RIM said it “plans to provide integrated parental control features in future versions of its BlackBerry 7 OS in order to allow parents to control various settings on their child's smartphone including the browser, text messaging and access to social networking sites.”

In addition, the company said BlackBerry App World 3.1 will now offer content rating and filtering options for applications based on the CTIA Wireless Association’s Guidelines for App Content Classification and Ratings.

A RIM spokesperson commented, “RIM is committed to child protection and is an active member of the [U.K.-based] Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). Access to IWF URLs [is] blocked on BlackBerry in the UK and this is being put in place in the international markets in which BlackBerry is available. 

“In addition,” the spokesperson continued, “as a provider to mobile operators, RIM fully supports its operator partners around the world in meeting obligations and commitments in this important area. Content filtering support is available to operators from RIM that enables the operator to perform the content filtering function for BlackBerry smartphones.”

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