Snapchat introduces Family Centre tool to boost child safety

Snapchat is introducing a new opt-in tool for parents, giving them the ability to see who their child is communicating with without revealing any content of conversations. — dpa

LONDON: Snapchat is introducing a new in-app tool to enable parents to get more insights on how their teenagers use Snapchat without compromising their children's privacy.

Family Centre will show parents their children’s friend list and who is communicating with them – but it will not show the content of conversations.

ALSO READ: Snap launches tools for parents to monitor teens’ contacts

The opt-in tool will require a parent and child’s Snapchat accounts to be friends in order to connect and set up Family Centre, from which parents will also be able to confidentially report any accounts connected with their child that they have concerns about.

“Family Centre is designed to reflect the way that parents engage with their teens in the real world, where parents usually know who their teens are friends with and when they are hanging out – but don’t eavesdrop on their private conversations,” Snapchat said in a blog post announcing the tool.

ALSO READ: Snapchat wants to ‘empower’ families with Family Centre feature. Here’s what to know

“To help develop Family Centre, we worked with families to understand the needs of both parents and teens, knowing that everyone’s approach to parenting and privacy is different.

“We also consulted with experts in online safety and wellbeing to incorporate their feedback and insights. Our goal was to create a set of tools designed to reflect the dynamics of real-world relationships and foster collaboration and trust between parents and teens.”

A number of other social media platforms have introduced tools that enable parents to see more of what their children do on their sites as part of efforts to improve user safety – as scrutiny on the subject increases and a number of countries continue to work on internet safety laws.

Snapchat also confirmed that it was publishing a new range of resources to help parents and children have open conservations about online safety, and that it would continue to add more features to Family Centre over the coming months, including new content control tools for parents.

“Our goal is to help empower parents and teens in a way that still protects a teenager's autonomy and privacy. We look forward to continuing to work closely with families and online safety experts to keep improving Family Centre over time,” Snapchat’s blog post said. – PA Media/dpa

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