Feeds

Gov: Smart TV bods must protect users from smut-riddled badness

Who knows what lurks in the darkness of t'interwebs

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Labelling within electronic programme guides on connected TVs could help viewers to distinguish between regulated and unregulated content, the Government has said in setting out a new communications strategy.

The government has called on industry (52-page/472KB PDF) to develop tools that enable the distinction to be made between regulated and unregulated content viewable on connected TVs.

It said labelling within electronic programme guides could be a solution. The term "connected TV" refers to devices that enable both TV programming and internet content to be displayed on TV screens.

"We ... want it to be clear to people when they are watching TV in a protected, regulated space, and when they move with just a few clicks to an unregulated area of the internet," the government said. "We want industry – broadcasters, manufacturers and platform providers – to lead the development of consumer tools in this area, working with regulators to consider what mechanisms can be applied to clearly label regulated and unregulated content.

"One such mechanism, may be, for example, using the electronic programme guide itself to define the protected space. We will work with industry to ensure that best practice is developed and can be shared and standardised," it said.

The government said that it would consider legislating if industry did not itself act so as "to ensure that audiences are protected to the level that they choose".

"Increasingly, set-top boxes and TVs connected to the internet enable programmes and films to be viewed on-demand, to fit viewing around our own schedules," the government said. "These can fall outside of regulatory frameworks.

"People tend to consider connected TVs to be a TV-like experience and expect to be more protected than they are from content accessed through PCs and laptops. Yet, the technology means that it is easy to flick between regulated and unregulated spaces.

"Since this is not always clear, this increases the risk of people inadvertently accessing content that may be offensive, inappropriate, or harmful to children," it said.

"The technology is already available to enable people to be provided with more information about programmes, and for "locks" to be put in place to prevent post-watershed programmes from being viewed by children on-demand. But more needs to be done to make sure that these practices are adopted more widely, and to make sure that tools, like pin-protection, are straightforward and easy for people to use," the Government added.

Elsewhere in its strategy the government said it would continue to work with stakeholders in the online space to restrict advertising revenues and payment facilities to copyright infringing websites.

Amongst the other initiatives contained in the strategy, the government said that it would legislate to prevent 'R18' rated material – content that can only be sold in licensed sex shops – from being accessible via catch-up TV or video-on-demand services other than via "access controls".

Culture Secretary Maria Miller said: "The communications industry has undergone change at an unprecedented pace over the last decade. In this digital age we must ensure the needs of the consumer are not lost in the dash for progress and the changes we are making will put the British public at the heart of the sector. The government will ensure consumers are protected from potentially harmful content, soaring costs and contracts that don’t meet their needs."

Copyright © 2013, Out-Law.com

Out-Law.com is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?