It was announced today that Dr Mike Short, Vice President, Telefonica Europe, and until recently chair of the Mobile Data Association, has been appointed to the Executive Board of the UK Council on Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).

The creation of the UKCCIS was one of the main recommendations by Dr Tanya Byron in her review into children and new technology. The UKCCIS is tasked with making the online world a safer place for children and young people.

The Executive Board of the UKCCIS will be chaired by Ministers from the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Home Office and has twenty members representing a cross section of stakeholder interests. The role of the Board is to support Ministers by advising on decision making and the delivery of the recommendations set out in the Byron Review.

Mike Short said: “I am delighted to be able to contribute to the work of the UK Council on Child Internet Safety. The internet is an integral part of every day life for most young people with countless benefits including fun and entertaining ways to communicate, learn, and create, consume and share content. But as with all technology there’s the potential for mis-use. And so it’s crucial that we build and retain public confidence in the safety of the internet including mobile phone access. It is also vital to strike the correct balance between protecting the public and encouraging innovation and investment in new products and services.

Over the past few years the partnership between industry, children’s charities, Government and the police – along with groundbreaking work of the Internet Watch Foundation, the Home Office Task Force, and CEOP – has seen the UK lead the way in protecting children online. But as technology evolves we face new challenges. I look forward to helping UKCCIS manage, and where possible, predict and pre-empt these challenges.”

Mike’s career in Communications spans 33 years, with the last 20 years being in mobile communications. Mike is currently Vice President Research and Development at O2 steering Telefonica Europe’s Group Research and Development in mobile technology. He is a past Chairman of the global GSM Association and the UK Mobile Data Association. Mike has also served as a member of the Ofcom Spectrum Advisory Board, and was a non executive Director of the premium rate regulator PhonePayPlus from 2005 to 2008.

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