VATICAN city (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Thursday that technology for managers and investors need to be held accountable when they put profits before the protection of children, including easy access to pornography on the internet.
FILE PHOTO: Pope Francis blesses a child as he arrives for general audience in the Vatican, on October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli/File Photo
Francis said at the start of a Vatican conference on the “Promotion of the Digital Child and the Dignity”, which includes companies such as Apple, Inc., Alphabet, Inc., Google, Microsoft Corp., and Facebook, along with a child protection groups and law enforcement, and judicial officials.
“The companies that are on the internet services, have long been thought to be only the suppliers of technology platforms, nor legally, nor morally accountable for the manner in which they are to be used,” Francis said.
“There is a need to ensure that investors and managers can be held accountable, so that the well-being of young people and the general public is not sacrificed to profit.”
Francis said that the Church is “painful and tragic experience,” with its sexual abuse crisis, it gave a “commitment to addressing these issues is a long-term vision.
In the last month or so, the United States of america, great Britain and Australia have called on Facebook to suspend the plans for the coding of the messaging service said that it would not stand in the fight against child abuse, and terrorism.
Child predators are increasingly using messaging apps to groom their victims, and the sharing of explicit images and videos. The number of known child sexual abuse has increased from the thousands to the tens of millions of people in just a few years.
Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said he was “very optimistic” Facebook would be able to identify the predators, and with the same tools used for the purpose of the election is a failure.
To be a prominent participant at the conference, Queen Silvia of Sweden, a long-time activist for the rights of the child.
Is there any studies that show that the average age of first entry into the digital-to pornography is 11, Francis said: “firms need to make greater efforts in order to identify the age of the users, and the strengthening of co-operation with the law enforcement in the fight against child sexual abuse content.
“I make an urgent appeal to them to take their own responsibility in the direction of the minors, their integrity, and their future,” Francis said.
“It will not be possible to ensure the safety of minors in the digital world, without the full involvement of the companies in the sector, and without a full awareness of the moral and social implications of their management and operation.”
This year, the united kingdom’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, introduced to this technology, the company is legally responsible for the safety and security of the children.
The conference at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the Vatican’s latest foray into the moral issues related to technology. In September, another Vatican department, brought together Silicon Valley heavyweights, Nobel prize winners, and the cyber experts to discuss the ethical use of artificial intelligence (AI).
On Thursday, Francis urged the computer, engineers have to reinforce the ways in which the use of AI algorithms in order to protect children on the internet. He told me that they feel a sense of personal responsibility for the creation of the future.”
Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Catherine Evans