Last week, Relative Insight joined the most senior gathering of government, law enforcement and technology groups to address the topic of online child exploitation at the WeProtect Child Online Summit.  We saw ambassadors, ministers and law enforcement chiefs from over 50 countries.

Our technology was built on a considerable R&D effort at Lancaster University that aims to help protect children from online threats. We work with global law enforcement agencies to aid in the discovery of more offenders and victims. We pursue these activities in parallel to our work with leading brand and marketing agencies.

Having worked on this important problem for some time, it was very encouraging to see such strong leadership on the topic at a global scale. The UK is leading efforts to bring together the technology industry to look at how we can be more effective in combating what is a major worldwide problem.

The WeProtect initiative was brought together by Baroness Joanna Shields and through the initiative we have partnered with Dell and Visa. The solution we created was debuted at the WeProtect conference last week.

Together, we briefed David Cameron, Theresa May and other senior officials on the solution, which would give children an online warning if they are interacting with someone who is not who they say they are. We were delighted to have our work referenced by the Prime Minister in the Q&A session after his speech.

Protecting children onine is a critical problem to address. The scale of the problem is almost industrial, and the correct and calculated use of technology is essential to addressing it. The problem is not just limited to the UK; it is a problem that spans international borders. Cooperation between national law enforcement agencies is a necessity to eradicate the dangers children face online.

Our team was encouraged by the positive feedback received from those in attendance at the Summit, and my expectations were surpassed on the progress made. The common sense of urgency, the connections made, and of course the laws announced by the UK government are signs that real progress is happening. It’s clear that this is not the end of the effort, but rather the beginning, and we look forward to continuing our work on this important issue.

By Ben Hookway