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Children need protecting, says kids' charity

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Parents are concerned that 3G mobile phones - with built-in cameras and Net access - are a threat to kids' safety. So says children's charity NCH, which found that that more than three-quarters of parents are worried about the technology.

According to an NOP poll, that half of all parents "strongly agree" that the phones are a "cause for concern", with eight in ten fearful that the phones will "make it more or less impossible to supervise and support children who use the Internet".

Said NCH's Internet advisor, John Carr: "This poll is the first concrete evidence that there is a great deal of anxiety and worry among parents about the arrival of the next generation of telephones with Internet access. NCH believes this throws down a major challenge to the mobile phone operators. If they [mobile operators] want these phones to take off in the youth market they are going to have to convince a lot of parents that they are safe, or can be made safe."

In January, six British mobile phone operators - Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone and 3 - unveiled a joint code of practice to help prevent youngsters from accessing porn, gaming and other unsuitable content on their mobile phones. ®

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