AT&T Issue Briefs

Our issue briefs provide additional details on topics identified as most important by our stakeholders. View all the issue briefs on the Reporting Library for a comprehensive overview or choose an issue in the drop-down menu.

 


Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures
Not applicable


Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures
416-2; Online safety MA; Promoting safe use of products and services MA


Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Responsible use & product safety

Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Online safety; Safe use of products/services

 

 

Our Position

 

We are dedicated to the digital well-being of our customers and helping them use our products and services in a safer and more responsible manner.


 

 

Our Action

Technology can expand boundaries and create opportunities – connecting people to knowledge, education, entertainment and more. But, if not used responsibly, technology can also compromise personal and societal safety and well-being. At AT&T, we believe technology should make life better.

AT&T is committed to the digital safety and well-being of our customers and society. Through our digital security and parenting solutions, awareness and education campaigns, and our support of organizations advancing digital safety and citizenship, we’re working across our company to help create a safer and more positive online experience for everyone.

As technology – and the needs of our customers and society – continue to evolve, AT&T continuously evaluates our programmatic strategy to ensure we are keeping our customers informed of digital dangers and empowering them to practice healthy digital habits. We work with external organizations to understand emerging issues and develop educational tools. We then leverage our robust sales and support channels to reach our customers and let them know about the resources available.  

As an example, in 2018, we conducted a regional poll with parents and teens to learn about their technology use. We used these findings to develop a pilot program that provides parents with digital parenting resources in our retail stores and through an online portal. We continue to work with online safety thought leaders to enhance our programs, establish evaluation metrics and formulate long-term goals, so that AT&T can make a measurable impact in the online safety space.

Governance

We established the AT&T Online Safety Committee – led by senior leaders in our Corporate Social Responsibility organization – in 2020 to provide oversight and guidance on the digital safety issues impacting our business, our customers and society. The committee meets regularly and is comprised of subject matter experts from across our operating companies. In its first year, the committee committed to analyze company-wide digital safety efforts and complete the UNICEF Mobile Operator Child Rights Self-Impact Assessment Tool.

Consumer Solutions

At AT&T, we work to ensure our customers have access to the best technology and the resources they need to get the most out of it, use it safely and responsibly integrate it into their lives – at any age. Examples of our product solutions and services include:

AT&T Secure Family

AT&T Secure Family helps parents keep track of their family and protect their children from inappropriate mobile content. The service offers the following features to help parents know where their kids are, manage their screen time and limit what they access online:

  • Location tracking
    • Locate a family member on an interactive map
    • Get alerts when their kids arrive at defined locations (home, school, parks or a friend’s house)
    • Set location schedule alerts
    • Review the location history for each family member
  • Set internet time limits
    • Set a schedule to limit internet access for children
  • Filter & block content
    • Filter or block apps and online content based on age-appropriate settings
  • Pause internet
    • Minimize children’s distractions (time for homework, time for bed)
    • Block Wi-Fi and mobile data access on demand
  • Real-time controls
    • Battery status: Visual indication on the parent app of each child’s phone battery charge
    • Second parent admin: Enables a second parent with account rights to install AT&T Secure Family to monitor and control the family companion devices
    • Call and text buttons: Ability to call or text contacts from within the app (parent and companion)
TV Parental Controls

AT&T TV, U-verse and DIRECTV set-top boxes provide access to Parental Controls, which allow users to control many types of content that can be viewed. Similar features are included within AT&T TV Now and HBO Max streaming services. With Parental Controls, users can block live and recorded programs on specific channels or based on maturity ratings. The feature also provides the ability to limit viewing times and block purchases. Parental Controls settings are simple to program and easy to use, offering parents and caregivers more peace of mind on what programming choices are available for their children to view.

AT&T Mobile Security® and Call Protect®

AT&T Mobile Security® and AT&T Call Protect® are free and subscription-based apps designed to help reduce users’ chances of becoming victim to fraud by scammers and telemarketers and identity theft.

AT&T Mobile Security® 1 1 AT&T Mobile Security & Call Protect: Service includes access to AT&T Mobile Security and AT&T Call Protect. Requires download of separate apps. AT&T Mobile Security: When Mobile Security app is installed, Call Protect features like Automatic Fraud Blocking and Spam Risk Blocking will be enabled. App Monitor: AT&T Mobile Security is not guaranteed to detect or protect against all viruses, malware, rooting and unauthorized app installations, or to prevent data breaches or device theft. AT&T Call Protect: Automatic Fraud and Spam Risk Blocking may inadvertently block wanted calls. Settings can be adjusted in the app. Nuisance Call Warnings: Other identified call types may include service messages and/or other permitted calls. Must be in an AT&T HD Voice coverage area to see warnings.
  • Device Security helps protect phones from mobile threats
  • Breach Reports alerts customers to company data breaches
AT&T Mobile Security Plus® 2 2 AT&T Mobile Security & Call Protect Plus: Subscribers pay $3.99 per month. Service auto-renews every 30 days unless canceled. For iOS users/Apple subscriptions, go to iTunes to cancel your subscription. To remove the service entirely, you must cancel the Basic version in the app or myAT&T once your iTunes subscription ends. Payments are nonrefundable (subject to applicable law). For AT&T billing, cancel anytime. Learn about managing your features at att.com/mobilepurchases or by calling customer service at 800.331.0500 (611 from your wireless phone). Cancel within either app. AT&T Mobile Security–Secure Wi-Fi VPN: Automatically enabled only when your device joins an open (unencrypted) Wi-Fi network. Does not work when using certain video streaming apps. Not available while roaming internationally. Personal ID Monitor: May not detect all compromises or leaks of your personal data. Safe Browsing (Android): May not detect all suspicious websites. Requires activation of VPN and notifications to be enabled. AT&T Call Protect–Custom Call Controls: All call categories, except Fraud, are automatically set to allow. Manage all settings via app. Caller ID: Must be in AT&T HD Voice coverage area to be alerted to caller name and location. Reverse Number Lookup: Limited to 200 queries per user within 24-hour period.
  • Secure Wi-Fi VPN helps protect your data over open (unencrypted) Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi Alerts warn you if a Wi-Fi network may be dangerous to your privacy
  • Personal ID Monitor notifies you if your personal information is found on the dark web
  • Theft Alerts notify you if suspicious activity is detected
  • Safe Browsing analyzes and warns you about suspicious websites

AT&T Call Protect® 1

  • Caller ID identifies unknown caller details
  • Reverse Number Lookup provides details when you enter a U.S. number
  • Custom Call Controls let you choose call categories to accept, block or send to voicemail

AT&T Call Protect Plus® 2

  • Caller ID identifies unknown caller details
  • Reverse Number Lookup provides details when you enter a U.S. number
  • Custom Call Controls let you choose call categories to accept, block or send to voicemail
Awareness and Education Campaigns

We also work to help customers identify and avoid harmful situations such as distracted driving, scams, cybercrime and on- and offline bullying.

It Can Wait
AT&T research shows that taking action and speaking up can help reduce distracted driving. 3 3 Online survey with 1,801 respondents (total distracted drivers n=1,559) conducted by Kantar Added Value. Data represented here were collected January 2018–March 2018. National panel sample (ages 15–54, drive, and have a smartphone). That’s why AT&T developed the It Can Wait pledge to never drive distracted. In 2019, the campaign reached a milestone of 40 million pledges to not drive distracted. Our campaign also operates in Mexico as Puede Esperar.

Overall, our campaign has evolved as smartphone-related driving distractions have grown beyond texting to include social media, web surfing, selfies and video chatting. In 2018, the campaign’s anti-distracted driving message was also expanded beyond cars to include e-scooters.

Other elements of the It Can Wait campaign include:

  • Social Media: To further drive behavioral change, we focus on digital and social media through the voice of influencers and our @ItCanWait handle.
  • National Speakers Bureau: To help tell firsthand stories about the dangers of mobile device use while driving, AT&T works with StopDistractions.org to connect people affected by distracted driving crashes with schools, conferences, conventions and the media around the country 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.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) Experience and Events: Since 2013, AT&T has used state-of-the-art technology to help educate about the dangers of distracted driving and increase awareness of and pledges to It Can Wait. In 2019, AT&T brought its immersive VR experience to more than a dozen high-profile events generating nearly 10,000 It Can Wait pledges not to drive distracted. In addition to our VR experience, AT&T 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 and pledge drives with select partners.
  • Online Resources: ItCanWait.com features downloadable tools and tips for consumers, schools and companies, along with posters, educational guides, fact sheets, and links to the PSAs and advertisements for the campaign. It also has a call to action where we encourage individuals to take the pledge to not drive distracted.
Stop Bulling: Speak Up

Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up is an award-winning, multi-platform, pro-social initiative that addresses bullying among kids – the #1 social issue facing this demographic. Since 2014, Cartoon Network’s anti-bullying activity has also rolled out across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, through a campaign titled CN Buddy Network and its tagline “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully.”

In 2018, Cartoon Network expanded Stop Bullying: Speak Up with new partners and resources designed to stop bullying before it starts by promoting kindness, caring and empathy among kids. This evolution was informed by new research Cartoon Network commissioned, working in consultation with the Making Caring Common Project of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, which surveyed kids directly about the current state of bullying and ways we can help prevent it.

As part of the expanded initiative, we are:

  • Using our reach and relevance to show kids the importance – and benefits – of being more kind, caring and empathetic with the creation of new content, including original PSAs.
  • Ensuring that authentic youth voices are heard as part of the solution, whether through original research or new collaborations that keep kids front and center in the national conversation about bullying and inclusion.
  • Providing parents and educators with resources to help kids make their home, school and communities kinder and more caring places.

In 2019, we initiated 2 new programs into the Stop Bullying: Speak Up initiative:

  • Include Someone, Make a Difference campaign in collaboration with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center and 826 National: In recognition of National Bullying Prevention Month, the campaign was launched in October 2019 to inspire kids in communities nationwide to make a difference by including someone to stop bullying before it starts. The campaign had co-branded classroom kits and a Day of Writing for Inclusion that engaged hundreds of students across the 826 National Network to reflect on and write about the myriad ways they can respond to bullying with acts of inclusion. It also included a new, original, animated PSA that reached millions of households encouraging kids to participate in the campaign by including others. Another animated PSA aired across Cartoon Network’s television, digital and social properties and brought to life 2 kids’ stories of kindness and inclusion. A campaign microsite highlighted nationwide participation and provided resources for kids and educators.
  • Integrated Marketing Partnership with Pilot Pens and 826 National: Cartoon Network launched a 2-year partnership with Pilot Pens’ Erase Bullying initiative and 826 National to create kits with co-branded packages of Pilot’s FriXion erasable pens and Inclusion Storytelling books and distribute them to classrooms nationwide. We also created a co-branded animated spot that brings to life 1 kid’s story of kindness and inclusion that airs across Cartoon Network’s television, digital and social properties during the back-to-school season.
Dislike al Cyberbullying

AT&T Mexico collaborates with the NEMI Foundation on the “Dislike Cyberbullying” project, which promotes a culture of prevention of cyberbullying in schools. The website, dislikealciberbullying.mx, has resources educating people on preventive actions and how to report cyberbullying to the appointed authorities. By the end of 2019, the program has educated more than 69,000 students and trained more than 2,000 teachers.

Cyber Aware

Cyber Aware is an AT&T-owned website that provides consumers with resources about email and text scams, spam, identity theft and much more.

Because one of the best ways to protect privacy online is to follow strong security practices, Cyber Aware gives consumers resources that are detailed enough to be educational, but simple enough to be usable. Website materials include:

  • Awareness & Education: Explains various scams and threats, and how to avoid them
  • News & Information: Shares useful blog posts, links and articles
  • Alerts & Reporting: Offers warnings of new threats
  • Resources: Provides detailed info on scams and a glossary of terms
ScreenReadySM

Through the ScreenReady℠ pilot program, our AT&T retail-based device experts provide hands-on guidance navigating the parental controls and content filter settings built into the consumer’s phone or tablet. We also provide parents and caregivers with access to a mobile-optimized AT&T website created in collaboration with Common Sense Media that features customized tips to fit their family’s online safety needs. Launched in New York City in 2018 and expanded to select New England stores in 2019, these pilot services are provided at no charge, whether or not AT&T is a family’s mobile carrier.

Collaboration with Stakeholders

AT&T works with several organizations that promote digital safety and citizenship, 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 digital 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.

Examples of our partnerships include:

  • Oasis Institute: AT&T helps narrow the technology-skills gap for older adults by supporting the Oasis Institute’s Connections program. Our support enables the Oasis Institute to continue expanding and updating the Connections technology training program, which helps adults build skills and confidence using computers, the internet and portable devices. In 2019, AT&T collaborated with Oasis to create a series of digital safety videos – available in English and Spanish – to help educate about common scams and fraud and improve digital safety. We also worked together to deliver online safety training events for seniors in cities across the country.
  • Common Sense Media: AT&T has collaborated with Common Sense Media, a global non-profit organization focused on the digital well-being of all children, to promote digital citizenship and online safety. AT&T also supports the development of several Common Sense Media programs aimed at empowering students across the country to become safe and responsible digital citizens, including the News and Media Literacy toolkit.
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: AT&T notifies the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and law enforcement about any information concerning child pornography of which we become aware through the provision of our services. We’re committed to working cooperatively with local, state and federal officials in their efforts to protect children from sexual exploitation and victimization.
  • Family Online Safety Institute: Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) is an international non-profit working to make the online world safer for kids and their families. With FOSI, we join leaders in the 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.