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Home Office fund expansion of Scam Marshals program

Source: National Trading Standards published on this site Thursday 15th November 2018 by Jill Powell

National Trading Standards’ flagship Scam Marshals programme is to be expanded thanks to new funding from the Home Office as part of the government’s Loneliness Strategy.

A Scam Marshal is any person in the UK who has been targeted by a scam and now wants to fight back and take a stand against scams. Scam Marshals do this by sharing their own experiences, helping others to report and recognise scams and by sending any scam mail that they receive to the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team so that it can be utilised as evidence in future investigative and enforcement work. This provides the NTS Scams Team with vital intelligence but also helps reduce the likelihood of former scam victims being scammed again.

The funding announced by the Home Office will allow the scheme to be expanded to improve the resilience of lonely or socially isolated older adults to fraud, scams and financial abuse. The new funding from the Home Office totals almost £100,000.

With scams costing the UK economy between £5bn and £10bn each year and 53% of people aged 65 or over saying they have been targeted by a scam, the Scam Marshals scheme plays a key role in supporting those who have been scammed or defrauded.

The Scam Marshals programme has already provided the NTS Scams Team with intelligence on criminal activity which is assisting ongoing investigations into those who operate mass marketing frauds.

Louise Baxter from the National Trading Standards Scams Team, said:

“The Scam Marshals programme has already been a great success and this new funding will help the initiative go from strength to strength. Scams cost the UK economy somewhere between £5bn and £10bn each year so the expansion of the Scam Marshals programme has the potential to have a big impact.”

Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said:

“Loneliness can cause people to feel detached from their neighbours and neighbourhoods, which may increase their vulnerability to becoming victims of crime.

“I’m extremely pleased the Home Office can support National Trading Standards in expanding their ‘Scam Marshals’ scheme to improve the resilience of lonely or socially isolated older adults to fraud, scams and financial abuse.”

“The Loneliness Strategy is a vital first step in a national mission to end loneliness.”

IWF Statement: In response to the Home Office announcement on IWF online child sexual abuse imagery data collection

Source: Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) published on this site Wednesday 14th November 2018 by Jill Powell

Susie Hargreaves OBE, CEO of the IWF, says: “We are delighted that the Home Office has asked us to provide data to explore how legitimate advertisers are being exploited by offenders, intent on sharing horrific imagery of child sexual abuse online.

“Our Analysts picked up this issue, through their work to identify and remove illegal images of children online. Using a variety of sophisticated techniques to avoid detection, offenders are exploiting online advertising networks to monetise their distribution of child sexual abuse material. Put simply, these criminals are finding ever more high-tech ways of making money out of the suffering of child victims. 

“By asking us to provide data on this complex area, the Home Secretary will be helping us identify the scale of the problem, which we can then work together with industry, police and government to tackle. 

“At the heart of all our work, are the child victims of this hideous crime. They range from babies to teens. The abuse itself is horrific, but by sharing the images and videos of these crimes against innocent children, offenders are forcing the victims to suffer the torment of knowing their abuse continues.

“It is our mission to identify the methods offenders are employing to share this disturbing material, enabling us to most effectively disrupt its distribution. We hope this research will help us in this battle.”

Trustees’ Week: 12-16 November 2018

Source: Trustees’ Week published on this site Monday 12th November 2018 by Jill Powell

Trustees are the people in charge of a charity. They help to make the UK the sixth most giving country in the world.

They play a vital role, volunteering their time and working together to make important decisions about the charity’s work.

Trustees’ Week is an annual event to showcase the great work that trustees do and highlight opportunities for people from all walks of life to get involved and make a difference.

There are approximately 196,000 charities in the UK (167,000 charities in England and Wales, 24,000 in Scotland, 5,000 registered in Northern Ireland).

And just over 1 million trustees (of which some 850,000 are in England and Wales, 180,000 in Scotland and 30,000 in Northern Ireland)

From NCVO and CCNI research, we know just under half the UK’s trustees are women.

The average trustee in England and Wales is 59 years old, and 55 in Northern Ireland.

There are many young trustees too with some 86,000 trustee positions held by 16-34 year olds (of which 2,611 in Northern Ireland).

This year we will be talking about:

  • diversity in trusteeship
  • what makes a good trustee
  • supporting and recruiting trustees
  • Follow the hashtag #TrusteesWeek on Twitter and LinkedIn for all the latest information.

Children’s Commissioner’s report calls on internet giants and toy manufacturers to be transparent about collection of children’s data

Source: Children’s Commissioner for England published on this site Tuesday 13th November 2018 by Jill Powell

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England is today publishing a new report looking how vast amounts of children’s data is collected. This is information about children growing up which often the child and parents are unaware of, and the ways in which it might shape their lives both now and in the future as adults. ‘Who knows what about me?’ reveals how more information is collected and shared about children than ever before – in the screens they watch, the websites and apps they use and the information that is captured by public services.

The report calls on companies producing apps, toys and other products aimed at children to be transparent about how they are capturing information about children and how it is being used, and argues that children should be taught in schools about how their data is collected and for what purposes. It also calls for a statutory duty of care between the internet giants and children who use their apps and sites, and for the Government to consider strengthening data protection legislation.

Children’s digital footprints are getting bigger and bigger. The report highlights how children aged 11-16 post on social media on average 26 times a day, which means by the age of 18 they are likely to have posted 70,000 times. By the age of 13, a child’s parents will have posted on average 1,300 photos and videos of them to social media. Many children too young to use the internet are also using ”internet-connected toys”, many of which gather personal information and messages. Last year, 2 million CloudPets voice messages shared between children and their family members were found being stored unprotected online.

‘Who knows what about me’ shows how children’s data is routinely collected online through social media updates on parents’ profiles, through children’s smartphone and tablets and through web-browsing and search engines and at home through smart speakers, connected toys and connected baby cameras. Data is also collected outside the home through location tracking watches, school databases, classroom apps, biometric data in schools, retail loyalty schemes, travel passes, and medical records such as the Personal Child Health Record and GP records.

It also explains the benefits and risks of children’s data being collected. For example, data can be used to drive innovation, personalise services and improve consumer experiences and public services. However, children growing up today are among the first to be ‘datafied’ from birth and we do not fully understand yet what all the implications of this is going to be when they are adults. The report warns that with so much data being collected about today’s children, they will be at an increased risk of identity theft and fraud as they grow up. Furthermore, sensitive information about a child could find its way into their data profile and used to make highly significant decisions about them, e.g. whether they are offered a job, insurance or credit. Collecting so much data about children also raises important questions about their freedom and independence. Making mistakes and pushing boundaries is a normal part of childhood, but is less likely when children are being tracked so closely. Children are also becoming accustomed to sharing their information without asking why it is needed or what it will be used for.

The Children’s Commissioner’s Office make a number of recommendations to policy-makers including:

  • shared online, at home and outside Companies producing apps, toys and other products aimed at children should be more transparent about any trackers capturing information about children. In particular where a toy collects any video or audio generated by a child this should be made explicit in a prominent part of the packaging or its accompanying information. Companies should also state their terms and conditions using language children understand, explaining clearly what data is collected and how it will be used.
  • Schools should teach children about how their data is collected and used and what they can do to take control of their data footprint. These lessons should cover information the home. The Children’s Commissioner’s Office has produced a helpful information with top tips, which schools can use.
  • The Government must urgently refine data protection legislation if GDPR does not prove adequate in practice.
  • There should be a statutory duty of care governing relationships between social media companies and the audiences they target. The Children’s Commissioner’s office will be working with the law firm Schillings to draft one.

Read more: Children’s Commissioner’s report calls on internet giants and toy manufacturers to be transparent...

Anti-Bullying Week 2018: Choose Respect

Source: Anti-Bullying Alliance published on this site Monday 12th November 2018 by Jill Powell

The theme for Anti-Bullying Week 2018 is: ‘Choose Respect’. Anti-Bullying Week and runs from 12th - 16th  November 2018

Today is odd socks day for Anti-Bullying Week and there will be a,'Stop Speak Support' cyberbullying day on the Thursday of Anti-Bullying Week (15th November) supported by the Royal Foundation 

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