Virgin Mobile has announced that it will adopt an 'opt-in' policy around new forms of content on its mobile phones.
Virgin Mobile has been heavily involved with the recently published pan-operator Joint Code of Practice for New Forms of Content, a self-regulatory code, which has been developed in order to establish guidelines around the safe and appropriate access to content on mobile phones by the end of 2004.
Virgin Mobile has taken this position in order to ensure that only those customers who have proven that they are over 18 may gain access to age-restricted experiences. This is to ensure that customers under 18 do not gain access to inappropriate services.
John Conlon, Virgin Mobile's head of adult services, said: "We want our customers to have access to as wide and as rich a range of content experiences on their mobile phone as possible, but we believe that it is important to protect our young customers from adult content. Therefore we have chosen to apply an 'opt-in' policy to ensure that those under 18 may only gain access to suitable content.
Stephen Timms MP, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, said: "Virgin Mobile's 'opt-in' policy is an excellent example of the mobile phone industry addressing concerns about access to inappropriate material via mobile phones. Today's move will help protect children and give parents peace of mind, as well as preventing other users from receiving unsolicited material that they do not wish to receive.
"We welcomed the industry's Code of Practice published earlier this year, and are pleased with the continuing efforts of the mobile phone industry to address these issues through self-regulation."