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.

 


ESG Material Issues
Responsible use & product safety

ESG Material Issues
Responsible use & product safety

 

 

Our Position

 

We are committed to the safety and well-being of our customers and society, and to helping them use our products and services safely and responsibly. 


 

 

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 shares tools and resources to help people and families manage their online and entertainment experience, stay informed of digital hazards, and practice healthy digital habits. Read more about how we are investing our resources and knowledge to advance digital skills in our Digital Divide issue brief. And read about our efforts to protect consumers’ data in our Privacy and Safeguarding Children issue briefs. 

Governance

The AT&T Online Safety Committee – led by senior leaders in our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) organization – provides oversight and guidance on the digital safety issues impacting our business, our customers and society. The committee meets regularly and is composed of subject matter experts from across our operations. 

In 2020 and 2021, the Online Safety Committee was instrumental in completing a human rights impact assessment across our portfolio of products and services to better understand risks related to potential online child exploitation and child sexual abuse material. The risk assessment used the UNICEF Mobile Operator Child Rights Self-Impact Assessment Tool, as well as industry best practices. The findings were reported to AT&T’s Human Rights Committee, which has governance over action items resulting from the assessment. Read about our commitment to respect and promote human rights in our Human Rights issue brief. 

Our Senior Vice President – CSR and ESG, who is also our Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), is responsible for overseeing our work to promote digital safety and well-being. The CSO reports several times a year to the Governance and Policy Committee of the AT&T Board of Directors. 

Parental Controls
AT&T provides parental controls on third-party services we resell, such as U-verse, DIRECTV and DIRECTV STREAM. 1 1 In July 2021, we completed a transaction with TPG Capital involving our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company called DIRECTV. In November 2021, we completed the sale of our Latin America video operations, Vrio, to Grupo Werthein. All parental controls settings on these services allow parents to block content based on maturity ratings. 

AT&T Secure Family™  helps parents keep track of their families and protect their children from inappropriate mobile content. Location tracking features, for example, can alert parents when their kids arrive at school and other defined locations, facilitating the review of each family member’s location history. Parents can also set internet time limits, pause the internet to minimize distractions during homework or bedtime, and filter or block apps and online content based on age-appropriate settings.

We also offer various free and subscription-based apps designed to help protect personal data and avoid unwanted calls. These apps are part of AT&T ActiveArmor and include features such as secure Wi-Fi VPN to help protect data over public Wi-Fi networks and reports about corporate data breaches. For more information, visit AT&T Mobile Security & Call Protect

Awareness and Education Campaigns

We work to help the public identify and avoid digital hazards such as distracted driving, scams, fraud, and on- and offline bullying. 

It Can Wait
AT&T research shows that 57% of people are more likely to stop driving distracted if a friend or passenger asks them to. 2 2 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 is why AT&T developed the It Can Wait pledge to never drive distracted. For more than a decade, AT&T has been working to help put an end to distracted driving through our It Can Wait campaign, which shares the simple message: Please don’t drive distracted. Our campaign operates in Mexico as Puede Esperar. Since 2010, It Can Wait has generated more than 40 million pledges to drive distraction-free. 

Today, It Can Wait is focused on raising grassroots awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. We provide information, videos and a community toolkit for everyone to join the movement and help make a difference in their community. 

In 2021, we also supported the 10th Annual Project Yellow Light Scholarship Competition, which calls on students to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) encouraging their peers to avoid distracted driving. Winners received scholarships, provided with support from the AT&T Foundation, as well as national exposure for their PSAs on television, radio, outdoor and digital platforms nationwide. 

Digital Citizenship Curriculum in Mexico City

AT&T Mexico and the Federal Education Authority in Mexico City launched a digital citizenship program for Mexico City’s 2021–2022 school curriculum. The program aims to provide students with tools to use information and communication technologies efficiently, safely and responsibly – while leveraging the benefits and reducing the risks of the digital environment. 

As part of the program, approximately 2 million primary school students have specialized digital citizenship resources, such as booklets and videos, integrated into their annual curriculum, covering topics such as digital identity, digital behavior for healthy interactions, digital footprint and cybersecurity. 

AT&T Cyber Aware

Cyber Aware is an AT&T-owned website providing 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. These resources include informational blog posts, alerts about new threats and other helpful security and reporting resources. 

AT&T ScreenReady®

Through AT&T ScreenReady, we’re helping parents and families make safe and positive connections on all screens. In 2021, we added new tips, tools and information to ScreenReady.com to help parents and caregivers set parental controls on their connected devices, navigate digital parenting issues and create an online and entertainment experience suitable for their family. 

Collaboration with Stakeholders

AT&T works with a number of organizations that promote digital safety and the responsible use of technology. We are also committed to collaborating with local, state and federal law enforcement in their efforts to protect children online and from sexual exploitation and victimization. Through these alliances, AT&T supports 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 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 technology training program, which helps seniors build skills and confidence using computers, the internet and portable devices. 
  • Common Sense Media: AT&T collaborates with Common Sense Media to share and promote online safety information and digital parenting resources through AT&T ScreenReady. 
  • National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: AT&T notifies the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and law enforcement about information concerning child sexual abuse material of which we become aware through the provision of our services. 
  • 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 families. With FOSI, we join leaders in the private, government and non-profit sectors to collaborate and develop 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.