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.

 

 

 

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 in a safe and responsible manner.


 

 

 

 

Our Goals

 

 

TOPIC: Screen Safety

 

 

2030 TARGET: Reach 1 million people with tools and resources to engage safely and positively on all screens.

 

 

PROGRESS: Launched goal.
We set this goal in May 2021 and will begin reporting progress in 2022.

 

 

 

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 safety and well-being of our customers and society. Acting on this commitment, 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. These actions, in turn, can help create a safe and positive online experience for everyone. Read more about our efforts to protect the privacy of young users’ personal data in our Safeguarding Children issue brief.

Our approach to product responsibility is based on research. AT&T conducts and supports research to understand the challenges facing today’s connected families, gain insight into the solutions that can help, and enhance programs to address pressing issues. In 2020, we conducted AT&T’s 2nd Annual Digital Family Poll, 1 1 The 2nd Annual AT&T Digital Family Poll was developed and conducted by the research firm Quadrant Strategies and was conducted online from July 7 to 19, 2020. The poll surveyed 500 teens (aged 13–18), 500 parents of kids (parents aged 25–37 of children under age 12) and 500 parents of teens (parents aged 30+ of teens aged 13–18) living in the United States. The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 4.38% percentage points for each of these audiences. Poll findings are available at: https://about.att.com/content/dam/snrdocs/ATT_Digital_Family_Report_2020.pdf benchmarking the changing digital landscape and technology used in today’s connected households. AT&T and Cartoon Network also provided support for the Cyberbullying Research Center to conduct the first-ever nationally representative survey of the incidences of cyberbullying among kids ages 9–12.

Our approach also focuses on the content we create. We have depiction policies that govern aspects of feature films such as tobacco use, particularly for content of interest to younger audiences. Read more in our Media, Ethics & Journalistic Integrity issue brief.

Governance

In 2020, we established the AT&T Online Safety Committee – led by senior leaders in our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) organization – to provide 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 operating companies. In its 1st year, the committee committed to analyze companywide digital safety efforts and complete the UNICEF Mobile Operator Child Rights Self-Impact Assessment Tool.

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

Tools and Solutions

At AT&T, we work to ensure our customers are connected to the technology and resources they need to create the online and entertainment experience that is right for their family. Examples include:

TV Parental Controls
AT&T makes parental controls available on the paid television services we offer, including AT&T TV, AT&T TV NOW, AT&T WATCHTV, HBO Max, U-verse and DIRECTV. 2 2 In February 2021, we agreed to contribute our North America video business – including DIRECTV, AT&T TV and U-verse – to form a new company with TPG Capital. The transaction is pending customary closing conditions. All parental controls settings on AT&T-provided television services allow parents to block content based on maturity ratings. The HBO Max streaming service, launched in 2020, provides enhanced parental controls allowing parents to create a passcode, set personalized ratings for each child and feel confident that their kids are protected and watching programs appropriate for both their age and maturity.
AT&T Mobile Security & Call ProtectSM

AT&T Mobile Security & Call Protect are free and subscription-based apps designed to help protect personal data and avoid unwanted calls.

AT&T Mobile Security (free version) features: 3 3 AT&T Mobile Security & Call Protect: Requires download of separate apps. App Monitor (Android): 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: Must be in an AT&T HD Voice coverage area to see warnings. Eligibility: Available for consumer and business wireless accounts with eligible service. Compatible device is required and includes iPhone 6 or newer, running iOS v12+ and AT&T HD Voice-enabled Android smartphones. Other charges and restrictions may apply. See complete terms and conditions at https://www.att.com/callprotectTerms.
  • Device Security helps protect your data from mobile threats
  • Breach Reports inform you about corporate data breaches
AT&T Mobile Security Plus features AT&T Mobile Security Plus features: 4 4 AT&T Mobile Security Plus & Call Protect Plus: Cancel within either app. AT&T Mobile Security – Secure Wi-Fi VPN: Automatically enabled 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: 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 an 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 public Wi-Fi networks
  • Wi-Fi Alerts warn you if a Wi-Fi network may be dangerous to your privacy
  • Personal ID Monitor gives alerts and helpful tips if your personal information is leaked
  • Theft Alerts (Android only) notify you if suspicious activity is detected
  • Safe Browsing blocks suspicious websites so you can surf the web safely

AT&T Call Protect (free version) features:3

  • Automatic Fraud Blocking detects and blocks calls from likely fraudsters before they reach you
  • Spam Alerts & Blocking let you block or send calls to voicemail if identified as Spam Risk
  • Personal Block List lets you block any unwanted number in the app
  • Unknown Calls to Voicemail

AT&T Call Protect Plus features:4

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

We also 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 taking action and speaking up can help reduce distracted driving. 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 awareness on social media about the dangers of distracted driving, using the hashtag #ItCanWait. We also provide information, videos and a community toolkit for everyone to join the movement and help make a difference in their community.

AT&T also continues to collaborate with non-profit partners to raise awareness about distracted driving. In 2020, we supported the 9th Annual Project Yellow Light Scholarship Competition. The 2020 contest, which calls on students to create a Public Service Announcement (PSA) encouraging their peers to avoid distracted driving, received more than 2,000 submissions. The competition awards 6 winning students with 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.

Stop Bullying: Speak Up

Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up (SB:SU) is an award-winning, multi-platform, pro-social initiative that addresses bullying among kids – a top social issue facing this demographic. Launched in 2010, the program has reached millions of kids and helped raise national awareness on the issue of bullying. 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.” Additionally, Cartoon Network’s commitment also extends to bullying prevention in Latin American markets.

In 2018, Cartoon Network expanded Stop Bullying: Speak Up to include new partners and resources designed to stop bullying before it starts by promoting kindness, caring and empathy among kids. This included the creation of the Inclusion Storytelling Project in partnership with 826 National. This evolution was informed by new research commissioned by Cartoon Network in consultation with the Making Caring Common project (MCC) at the Harvard Graduate School of Education that surveyed kids directly about the current state of bullying and ways we can help prevent it. In 2019, SB:SU continued to build on its expanded efforts to stop bullying before it starts by collaborating with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to launch Include Someone, Make a Difference, a campaign inspiring kids in communities nationwide to make a difference by including someone.

In 2020, Stop Bullying: Speak Up celebrated 10 years of impact. In this milestone year, Cartoon Network built on the success of the Inclusion Storytelling Project and the Include Someone, Make a Difference campaign with non-profit partners 826 National and PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Activated during National Bullying Prevention Month in October, the campaign included:

  • A new PSA in partnership with PACER, highlighting the importance of including others through real kids’ stories and Cartoon Network characters
  • Updates to IncludeSomeone.com, made in partnership with PACER, featuring videos of kids sharing how they include others and why it matters
    • Free Include Someone kit for educators and parents to be used in person or virtually, incorporating Cartoon Network’s beloved characters
  • Write for Inclusion– a series of 10 writing prompts offered via 826 National's social platforms, inviting kids to explore issues of inclusion, kindness and empathy through storytelling
  • A digital version of the Write for Inclusion Publishing Kit, accessible to all educators and students in partnership with 826 National and available on 826 Digital

Stop Bullying: Speak Up also put greater emphasis on cyberbullying in 2020, reflecting the growing prevalence of kids’ digital media usage as a means to socialize and congregate. As it has done in the past, Cartoon Network relied on original research to inform its efforts. In partnership with the Cyberbullying Research Center, Cartoon Network conducted a first-of-its-kind nationally representative survey of the incidences of cyberbullying among kids ages 9–12. The research revealed that 1 in 5 tweens has been cyberbullied, has cyberbullied others or has seen cyberbullying. These findings will drive the initiative’s 2021 campaign.

Si Fueras Tú

AT&T Mexico collaborates with the NEMI Foundation on the Si Fueras Tú project, which promotes a culture of cyberbullying prevention in schools. Si Fueras Tú has resources educating people on preventive actions and how to report cyberbullying to the appointed authorities. In 2020, the program educated more than 3,451 students and trained more than 114 teachers.

AT&T 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 sections include:

  • Blogs: Shares useful blog posts, links and articles
  • Awareness: Explains various scams and threats and how to avoid them
  • Alerts: Offers warnings of new threats
  • Resources: Provides additional helpful resources for security, reporting and contact information for consumers and AT&T customers, and a glossary of terms

In 2020, AT&T increased efforts to raise awareness about social engineering scams and fraud during COVID-19. Together with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), AT&T launched a public education campaign with the call to action Don't Take The Bait – Validate! The campaign included video, social media and digital resources to help empower consumers to outsmart fraudsters by protecting their PINs, passwords and personal information from incoming callers who may not be who they say they are.

ScreenReadySM

Through AT&T’s ScreenReady program, we provide today’s connected families with the information and tools they need to create the online and entertainment experience that is right for their household. In 2020, we added new resources to the ScreenReady website, including video tutorials on how to set parental controls on AT&T TV, DIRECTV and HBO Max, as well as new digital parenting tips and resources from Common Sense Media.

AT&T’s 2nd Annual Digital Family Poll, conducted by Quadrant Strategies and released in August 2020, revealed that parents overwhelmingly (89%) believe parental controls are an effective tool to manage teens’ digital safety, yet less than half are using them. The poll also revealed that teens with parental controls set on their devices report being happier and say that their devices make them feel safer, more productive and able to pursue their passions at higher rates than those without parental controls. Inspired by these insights, AT&T teamed with WarnerMedia 5 5 In May 2021, we entered into an agreement to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery, Inc. The transaction is subject to approval by Discovery shareholders and customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals. to launch an educational spot featuring some of DC’s most iconic superheroes – Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Cyborg – to remind “parent superheroes” everywhere to set parental controls on the connected devices in their households and visit ScreenReady.com for help. AT&T and WarnerMedia are sharing the educational spot on digital and new media platforms including ScreenReady.com, social media and other vehicles.
Collaboration with Stakeholders

AT&T works with numerous 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 2020, AT&T provided support for Oasis to offer online safety and technology training virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Common Sense Media: AT&T collaborates with Common Sense Media, a global non-profit organization focused on the digital well-being of all children, to share and promote online safety information and digital parenting resources. Common Sense Media age-based information and reviews are also integrated into some AT&T Television services, including DIRECTV.
  • 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 sexual abuse material 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: The 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 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.