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IRIS 2019-7:1/11

Germany

KJM approves Sky’s “Family Feature” as technical system for protecting young people in the media

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Jörg Ukrow

Institute of European Media Law (EMR), Saarbrücken/Brussels

According to the German Jugendmedienschutz-Staatsvertrag (Inter-State Agreement on the protection of minors in the media - JMStV), some telemedia content that may be harmful to minors may only be transmitted if the provider ensures, through closed user groups, that it can only be accessed by adults. Content that may impair the development of children may be distributed if, for example, the provider ensures through a technical system that it cannot normally be accessed by children and young people in the relevant age groups.

On 15 May 2019, the Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz (Commission for the protection of minors in the media - KJM), which comprises 12 representatives of the highest federal and state authorities responsible for youth protection and directors of the Landesmedienanstalten (state media authorities), approved the “Family Feature” concept of Sky Deutschland Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG as a technical system within the meaning of the JMStV - initially for a two-year period with a renewal option.

The “Family Feature” is designed to give users platform-wide protection for both linear and non-linear content. Under factory settings, a programme-related blocking system is activated as standard. All linear and non-linear content with an age rating of 12, 16 or 18 can only be accessed during the day using a youth protection PIN. As well as this factory setting, two other modes can be selected:

“Individual” mode enables customers to choose from what age (0, 6, 12, 16, 18) and at what times a youth protection PIN should be required. Under this setting, a PIN is requested for any content at or above the chosen age rating. Customers can also decide whether the restriction should apply all the time or only between 6am and 8pm.

Subscribers who, for example, have no children or young people in their household can select the “Off” mode, where no youth protection PINs are requested for any content, including 18-rated programmes.

Every six months, subscribers are asked to check that their youth protection settings are up to date. When allocating a youth protection PIN, which only adult subscribers receive, Sky conducts an age verification process. The PIN is then issued via a KJM-certified e-mail process or directly to the customer along with the reception device.

The KJM has now approved a total of seven technical systems as defined in the JMStV.

References
Pressemitteilung der KJM vom 16. Mai 2019 DE
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19569
 
  KJM press release of 16 May 2019