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Promoting Safe Use of Products and Services

Materiality Assessment Topics: Online safety; Safe use of products/services; Responsible content | Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures: GRI 416-2, Online safety MA

Issue Summary

Companies have an important role to play in helping their customers use services and products safely and in the manner that works best for them and their families.

Our Position

We are dedicated to empowering our customers to use our products and services in a safe and responsible manner.

2017 Key Performance Indicators
  • Pledges to not drive distracted through the It Can Wait campaign as of December 2017: >22M

Our Action

To empower our consumers to seize the benefits of AT&T technology while avoiding some of the safety pitfalls, AT&T has created a number of safety programs that include education campaigns, parental controls for mobile phones and media content, and collaborations with non-profits and government entities.

It Can Wait

AT&T is committed to saving lives by raising awareness and sharing a simple message: smartphone-distracted driving is never okay.

Several initiatives comprise our It Can Wait campaign to prevent distracted driving. Originally introduced in 2010, the program aims to educate employees and the general public about the dangers of distracted driving. Our campaign has evolved as smartphone-related driving distractions have grown beyond texting to social media, web surfing, selfies and video chatting. It includes grassroots community efforts and events, as well as specially developed PSAs and social media campaigns.

As of December 2017, the movement achieved more than 22 million pledges from drivers to never drive distracted since 2010.

AT&T is also a contributing member of the global coalition, Together for Safer Roads, a private-sector effort that is focused on improving road safety and reducing deaths and injuries by road traffic collisions. The founding members include Anheuser-Busch InBev, AIG, AT&T, Chevron, Ericsson, Facebook, IBM, iHeartMedia, PepsiCo and Walmart. We also work with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) on our shared mission to keep drivers safe on the road and have previously been honored with its Peter K. O'Rourke Special Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding highway safety accomplishments for the movement against texting while driving.

It Can Wait Mexico

The AT&T It Can Wait campaign continues to operate in Mexico as Puede Esperar. The program aims to inform our wireless users, employees and the public that distracted driving is never okay. Research shows that more than 9 in 10 (92%) urban Mexicans read or send messages—or engage in other smartphone activities—while driving. Nearly a quarter (24%) do it “all the time.”

Since 2015, we have worked with government and community officials to promote Puede Esperar in Mexico City. We have hosted neighborhood events that include our virtual reality experience—a 3-D setting that allows people to experience the potentially deadly consequences of even glancing at a phone while driving.


Ultimately, the question is whether all our activities are making a difference—and importantly, which activity is the most impactful.

In 2016, we conducted research that showed only 36% of drivers look at their smartphones with passengers in the car, compared to more than 6 in 10 (64%) without a passenger. We also found that for 1 in 3 drivers, distracted driving is a habit and they have a false sense of security in their actions. Only 58% of habitually distracted drivers feel that using their smartphones behind the wheel is “very dangerous,” compared to 78% of non-habitual distracted drivers. Not surprisingly, habitual distracted drivers are also twice as likely to have been involved in a near crash or a collision.

In addition to looking at drivers’ habits, we also conducted research on how the act of taking an It Can Wait pledge can make a difference in behavior. Our research found that almost half of people who pledged said they no longer use their smartphones while driving. Additionally, those who share their promise or pledge with others are even more likely to stop and more likely to speak up to others.

Last year, we also worked with our data scientists, using anonymized data, to estimate the rates of texting while driving across the U.S. The finding shows that having statewide anti-texting laws lowers rates of texting while driving, at a statistically significant level. According to the data, the 4 states without a statewide ban have a roughly 17% higher rate of texting while driving than the 46 states with statewide bans.

In 2015, we also worked with our data scientists, using anonymized data, to estimate the rates of texting while driving across the U.S. The findings show that having statewide anti-texting laws lowers rates of texting while driving at a statistically significant level. According to the data, the 4 states without a statewide ban have a roughly 17% higher rate of texting while driving than the 46 states with statewide bans.

National Virtual Reality Simulator Tour and Local Engagement

Since 2013, AT&T has commissioned the creation of texting-while-driving car simulators and organized more than 1,000 local events for drivers to experience what happens while texting and driving. In 2015, we launched a new version of the simulator, which uses state-of-the-art virtual reality technology to give drivers a firsthand look at the dangers of driving distracted. In 2017, we hosted more than 220 simulator events with more than 65,300 attendees, generating more than 19,950 pledges.

In 2016, AT&T also launched an interactive map showcasing simulator tour stops to encourage greater awareness of the simulator tour.

In addition to the simulator tour, AT&T actively hosts other events and activities to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, including proclamation signings with elected officials, events with members of our speakers bureau, employee volunteer events, essay contests and school assemblies with federal, state and local partners.

National Speakers Bureau

As part of our efforts to bring firsthand stories about the dangers of smartphone use while driving to audiences around the country, AT&T works with to connect people affected by distracted driving crashes with schools, conferences, conventions with the media to talk about these life-changing events. The National Speakers Bureau includes hundreds of advocates around the country who have also contributed to 2 AT&T documentaries and national advertising campaigns.

Social Media Engagement

In an effort to further drive behavior change, we focus on digital and social media through the voice of influencers and our @ItCanWait Twitter handle.

During April 2017, Distracted Driving Awareness Month, It Can Wait launched a social-first campaign based on new AT&T research that said 57% of people are more likely to stop driving distracted if a friend or passenger pressures them to. Through our #TagYourHalf campaign, we asked social users to tag their best friend—the one person they can’t live without—to encourage them to stop driving distracted. We amplified the message across social media through blogger relationships, driving conversation around the #TagYourHalf campaign. The program received more than 25 million impressions.

To celebrate reaching 20 million pledges in September 2017, It Can Wait donated $20,000 to SADD, a partner safety organization. We shared celebratory messages with our social community and partnered with bloggers and social content creators to help us spread the word, as they published video diaries of what the pledge has meant to them and how it has impacted their lives. We also hosted an employee-focused celebration at the AT&T headquarters in Dallas and generated more than 9 million total blogger impressions and 35,000 views of influencer content.

Technology and Innovation Programs

AT&T has tapped into its innovation programs to help drive the It Can Wait movement. The AT&T DriveMode app is designed to curb the urge to text while driving and emerged from an employee’s submission to The Innovation Pipeline. In 2014, the AT&T DriveMode app became available for iPhone users, making it the first free no-texting-while-driving application offered by a major U.S. wireless carrier that works on the iPhone. This iPhone launch helped drive adoption of the application.

Online Resources

Our online resource center,, features downloadable tools and tips for consumers, schools and companies, along with posters, educational guides, fact sheets, and links to the PSAs and print advertisements for the campaign. It also has a call-to-action where we encourage individuals to take the pledge to not drive distracted.

Documentary and Ads

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog, “From One Second to the Next” focuses on the stories of 4 individuals who have been involved in or caused a texting-while-driving accident. Released in August 2013, the film introduces new voices and faces on the subject following the release of our “The Last Text” documentary in 2010. Through existing relationships, we seeded the documentary with 40,000 schools, hundreds of safety organizations and government agencies, and many others across the country.

In 2016, AT&T produced “The Unseen” to highlight our campaign message: “You’re Never Alone on the Road.” This video launched in conjunction with our research on habitual distracted driving.

Online Safety & Responsible Content

Digital You®

Digital You® provides tips, tools and information to help consumers get online safely and securely. The Digital You website, created in collaboration with Common Sense Media, LGBT Tech, National Consumers League, iKeepSafe, Family Online Safety Institute and other experts, is a resource that provides parents, youth, digital newcomers, people with disabilities, and community leaders with information on the devices they use and how to maintain privacy, safety and security in an increasingly connected world. The website addresses topics such as preventing cyberbullying, managing your online presence, protecting your computer and your data, and parenting in the digital age.

This year, an Employee Resource Group called oxyGEN Young Professionals piloted a program called Kid Tips. oxyGEN’s mission is to enhance understanding, engagement and leadership skills of young AT&T employees through cross-generational programs, activities and resources. oxyGEN was looking for new ways they could empower young parents, like themselves, in the digital age. Working with AT&T experts, oxyGEN created Kid Tips as a way to integrate the Digital You digital parenting resources into the AT&T retail experience. They targeted parents who were buying first phones for their children. Kid Tips was piloted in select retail stores on the West Coast.

AT&T also produced “There’s a Soul Behind That Screen” film as part of our new education effort to help students, parents and educators tackle the cyberbullying. The film compiles award-winning short films made by high school students who participated in the 2016 All American High School Film Festival Cyberbullying Invitational based on their own cyberbullying experiences. Common Sense Media and the Tyler Clementi Foundation worked with AT&T to provide parents and educators with the resources and tools necessary to address this issue.


AT&T has a long history of working with local and national organizations to train people to get the most out of technology. As with the Digital You website, the trainings are designed for people of all ages and cover topics ranging from safety and security to combatting cyberbullying. In 2017, the Digital You campaign held more than 110 events across the United States. This expands on the tens of thousands of consumers who have participated in AT&T-supported trainings over the past decade.

AT&T is also working to expand the reach of our trainings by working with youth organizations such as 4-H, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA). AT&T teams in Georgia, Tennessee and other states around the country have trained FFA and 4-H students to organize and run their own trainings. Through these programs, we are providing students with new leadership opportunities and bringing trainings to new and different audiences.


The issue of cyberbullying and online hate is now bigger than we can imagine. It’s more prevalent, more frequent and more subtle. It follows teens around in their pockets and in their hands at all moments as part of an ever-increasing mobile lifestyle. As a leader in mobile connectivity, we are committed to helping people stay safe online. In 2016, we launched #LaterHaters, a social-first campaign aimed at empowering teens to rise above online negativity. We engaged celebrity sponsors, such as Gabby Douglas, Alexis G. Zall and Brendan Jordan, to help raise awareness. To invite teens to join in the conversation, we used a unique #LaterHaters Snapchat geofilter.

To continue this conversation in 2017, AT&T teamed up with Wattpad, whose community of writers is passionate about stopping online bullying. Young people of ages 13 and up were encouraged to create a 500-word short story or message of positivity. The winner received an all-expense paid trip to meet social influencers the Dobre Brothers in Los Angeles. We integrated the #LaterHaters campaign into Guilty Party, an AT&T original content series and the plugged the campaign during the Love is Love Fullscreen Live tour.

In 2017, we also launched a Parent Guide to help create an open dialogue between parents and children about the online world. From our 2016 launch to November 2017, we garnered 178 million impressions and more than 9 million engagements. The LaterHaters Instagram handle now has more than 11,700 followers.1

DIRECTV Parental Controls & AT&T U-VERSE® TV Parental Controls

Both AT&T U-verse and DIRECTV set-top boxes provide access to Parental Controls, which allows users to control what types of content can be viewed. With Parental Controls, users can block live and recorded programs based on maturity ratings and specific channels. It also provides the ability to limit viewing times, set spending limits for movies or pay-per-view events, and block purchases completely. Parental Controls are simple to set up and easy to use. They offer parents peace of mind on what programming choices are available for their kids to view.

AT&T Smart Limits®

AT&T Smart Limits® helps you manage your family’s phone use by setting sensible limits on texts and purchases, blocking data, setting up Wi-Fi reminders, and viewing daily and weekly activity at home and on the go. The service offers the following features:

  • Manage Cellular Data
    • Block Cellular Data: Block access to cellular data for any line on a user’s account.
    • Wi-Fi Reminders: Helps families manage data use by setting up text reminders to switch to Wi-Fi when a set amount of cellular data is used.
  • Set Limits
    • Time Restrictions: Encourage responsible phone use by limiting text, outbound calling and cellular data use during specific times of the day.
    • Purchase Limits: Avoid unexpected mobile content charges on an AT&T account by limiting purchases for apps, music and games.
    • Text Limits: Set limits on the number of texts a child sends and receives each month.
  • Block Numbers
    • Block Numbers: Block up to 30 numbers from unwanted calls and texts, including 411.
    • Allowed Contacts: Create a trusted list of phone numbers for a child.
  • See Activity
    • View Daily Activity: Check in on a child’s calling and texting activity during the day or night.
    • Weekly Reports: Gain insight into phone use with weekly reports on the amount of texting and calling activity.
    • Top Contacts: Stay in touch by knowing with whom and how often a child is communicating with contacts.
    • Alerts: Receive customized alerts for text and call activity and receive new contact alerts.

Find out more at

AT&T FamilyMap®

Ideal for today's on-the-go families, AT&T FamilyMap lets you see the location of family members' phones on an interactive map from your phone, tablet or computer. Features include:

  • Get alerts when the kids arrive at defined places (home, school, parks or a friend's house).
  • Locate a lost or stolen phone.
  • Review the location history for each family member.

For more information, visit

AT&T Mobile Security® And Call Protect®

AT&T Mobile Security® & Call Protect® provides 2 free* apps that:

  • Help reduce users’ chances of becoming a victim of fraud.
  • Scan a device to warn customers about potentially unsafe apps/files.
  • Let customers take more control over nuisance calls.

AT&T Call Protect®2

  • Automatic Fraud Blocking: Detects and blocks calls from likely fraudsters before they reach users.
  • Suspected Spam Warning: Alerts customers when they get a call from a suspected spam source.
  • Manual Call Blocking: Lets users block unwanted calls manually.

AT&T Mobile Security®3

  • App Security: Helps protect phones from unsafe apps and files.
  • System Advisor: Alerts customers if the operating system on their phone has been tampered with.

To learn more, visit

Partnering to Promote Online Safety Education and Awareness

AT&T works with several organizations that promote online safety education and awareness, and we are committed to working cooperatively with local, state and federal law enforcement in their efforts to protect children online. Through these alliances, AT&T supports many programs that raise the profiles of online safety issues and provide resources and tools to consumers who seek more information. We also participate in and host community summits, panels and educational events that help consumers of all ages learn how to safely and efficiently manage technology.

Family Online Safety Institute

The Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) is an international non-profit working to make the online world safer for kids and their families. FOSI convenes leaders in industry, government and the non-profit sectors to collaborate and develop new solutions and policies in the field of online safety. Through research, resources, events and special projects, FOSI promotes a culture of responsibility online and encourages a sense of digital citizenship for all.

National Cyber Security Institute

The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) builds strong public-private partnerships to create and implement broad-reaching education and awareness efforts. These initiatives empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems and their sensitive information safe and secure online. They also encourage a culture of cybersecurity.

OASIS Institute

AT&T is also helping to narrow the technology-skills gap for older adults by supporting The Oasis Institute’s Connections program. Our support enables Oasis to continue expanding and updating the Connections technology training program, which helps adults build skills and confidence using computers, the internet and portable devices. Oasis Connections programs are offered in 40 cities and have enrolled more than 120,000 people since 2000. In 2017, the curriculum expanded to include 3 additional cybercrime prevention classes. “Through support from AT&T, Oasis has been teaching online safety to older adults since 2004. The program currently offers 5 classes to help people use their devices to safely navigate the internet,” said Amy VanDeVelde, National Program Manager of The Oasis Institute.

Tech Centers with LULAC

Through the “Empower Hispanic America with Technology” program, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) has established the nation’s largest Latino network of community technology centers with 55 locations across the country.

The AT&T-provided upgrades to these LULAC technology centers include computer equipment, office applications software and technology curriculum, in addition to ongoing tech support. Visitors to these centers will have access to the types of technology and equipment they need to help complete schoolwork, prepare for college or get the skills they need for a new job.

1Impressions and engagements, which includes likes, comments, shares, video views and link clicks, are inclusive of influencer content, partnerships, owned content, conversation and paid data.

2AT&T Call Protect: Automatic Fraud Blocking: May inadvertently block wanted calls, but settings can be adjusted to turn off blocking or allow specifically designated numbers. Suspected Spam Warning: Must be in AT&T HD Voice coverage area to be alerted to suspected spam calls. Suspected spam may include service messages and/or other permitted calls. Manual Call Blocking: Requires AT&T Call Protect app. Permits blocking of phone numbers. Does not permit blocking of unknown numbers. For complete terms and conditions for AT&T Call Protect, see

3AT&T Mobile Security: Available for Android HD Voice-capable devices. When Mobile Security app is installed, Call Protect features like Automatic Fraud Blocking and Suspected Spam Warning are automatically enabled at network level. App Security: Not guaranteed to detect or protect against all viruses and malware. System Advisor: Not guaranteed to detect all roots and jailbreaks and does not prevent roots, jailbreaks or unauthorized app installation(s). For complete terms and conditions for AT&T Mobile Security, see Compatible device/service required.  Smartphones sold by other carriers may not be eligible. AT&T Mobile Security is only available on Android devices.  Data rates may apply for app download and usage.

Updated on: Nov 2, 2018