Protection of Media Users and Customers
Subject: Media & Services
Bertelsmann wants to reach as many people as possible with its creative content and services. This gives rise to a special duty to reflect on repercussions and protect the rights and interests of users and customers to the best possible extent. Four statements from various lines of business show how seriously the Group takes this responsibility.
Reliable Protection of Minors
"The object is to protect children and teens from such things as disturbing portrayals of violence or excessively sexualized content and thus to ensure their unencumbered personal development."
Dieter Czaja , Youth Protection Officer at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland
When children and teens tune into our programs, they and their parents can count on one thing: Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s programs have been reviewed in advance for their suitability for the various age groups in line with the legal requirements. The object of this review is to protect children and teens from such things as disturbing portrayals of violence or excessively sexualized content and thus to ensure their unencumbered personal development. In Germany, one of the ways we achieve this is by approving programs only for a specific broadcast time slot. For example, television programs aired during primetime after 8:00 p.m. must be appropriate for all viewers over the age of 12 years. If these programs are to be broadcast during daytime, the welfare of young children must be taken into account when choosing the broadcast time. Programs deemed appropriate for ages 16 and older may not be aired until 10:00 p.m. – unless the RTL Protection of Minors department has created an abridged version to apply for an exemption. For German commercial channels, this review is handled by the Self-Regulation Body of the Television Industry (Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen, FSF). Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland channels were instrumental in the establishment of this institution in 1993. I have been Chairman of the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen Board since 1995. The FSF’s expert opinions were given a more robust legal basis in 2003, with the Interstate Treaty on the Protection of Minors from Harmful Media. TV channels and production companies equally rely on the FSF’s judgment. The FSF’s expert opinions give channels planning certainty regarding their desired exploitation on TV and protect the company from subsequent admonishments by the supervisory bodies."
Youth Protection Officer at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland
Venturing Online – But with a Safety Net
"We feel a special responsibility, particularly toward our young media users. This has enabled us to build trusted relationships with our consumers."
Sophie Mitchell, DK Children’s Publishing Director
As a publishing house that specializes in highly visual, photographic non-fiction and works of reference for children and adults, DK always gives top priority to ensuring that our products do not harm people or the environment. We feel a special responsibility, particularly toward our young media users. DKfindout! allows children to search, learn about and explore age-appropriate information on a safe and secure website (www.dkindout.com). When we developed DKfindout!, it was important for us to create a space for children, parents and teachers to access reliable, trusted educational resources. With the infinite expanse of the Internet, security and protection cannot always be guaranteed – especially for young users. his makes it all the more important for children, and their parents of course, to have a reliable resource with the highest safety standards – fully in line with the fundamental values we bring to producing DK media for children. DKfindout! is certified by the kidSAFE Seal Program and meets the highest standards of online safety and privacy protection, including complying with COPPA – Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. We never collect personal data from children. Only teachers and parents are asked for data, should they choose to register with the site, and this is optional. This approach ensures the complete protection of all our users and has enabled us to build trusted relationships with our consumers."
DK Children’s Publishing Director
Watchdog and Gatekeeper
"This photograph – like no other – is a symbol of the refugee crisis and the failure of international politics. It is historically comparable to the world-famous image of the young girl running from a napalm attack in the Vietnam War."
Kirsten von Hutten , Lawyer and Legal Advisor Gruner + Jahr
The protection of media users plays an important role in the legal consultation of our editorial departments and is expressed in extremely diverse ways. Media – especially in times of unlimited dissemination options on the Internet – are both watchdog and gatekeeper. These days, gatekeepers face particular challenges: How, in these politically turbulent times of terrorism and humanitarian disasters, can media accomplish the task of providing comprehensive and impartial information to the public? What can media dare to inflict on their users during times like these? What may they even have to inflict on them? his is a difficult balancing act for the editorial desks. he discussion surrounding a picture that went around the world, of the drowned Syrian refugee boy Ailan Kurdi on the beach in Bodrum, Turkey, showed just how difficult. Is it really necessary to show such a photo? Isn’t it too disturbing? Or is it perhaps necessary for us to be disturbed? At the end of the controversial discussion, we ultimately had to make the decision whether to publish the picture, in "Stern" magazine and on Stern.de. Was it an imposition on the viewer? Probably, and likely very hard to bear. And yet this photograph – like no other – is a symbol of the refugee crisis and the failure of international politics. It is historically comparable to the world-famous image of the young girl running from a napalm attack in the Vietnam War. The public needs to be informed about this – including with pictures. However, in the case of such pictures, the media’s gatekeeper function extends not only to publishing them, but also to providing the right context and commentary."
Kirsten von Hutten
Lawyer and Legal Advisor Gruner + Jahr
Data Security as a Key Topic
"We work with very sensitive data, and must be able to protect it at all times against internal and external misuse and theft – both during storage and while in transit."
Dirk Kemmerer, CEO of Arvato Digital Marketing
Every day, AZ Direct GmbH processes hundreds of thousands of datasets provided by customers or partners. Hand ling all aspects of smart data is our core business: in the digital marketing sector, the AZ Direct colleagues are Arvato’s specialists for data-driven multi-channel marketing as part of solutions for customer acquisition, customer development and customer loyalty. We work with very sensitive data, and must be able to protect it at all times against internal and external misuse and theft – both during storage and while in transit. To guarantee this, we have developed and patented our own Data SecureTTP process and the "DataSec" data encryption/decryption tool. We operate Data SecureTTP together with TÜV Rheinland, an independent body that functions as the "Trusted Third Party," or TTP, which forms part of the name of this process. Each dataset is "hashed," i.e., cryptically encoded at various levels before the exchange. Only TÜV Rheinland has the key to interconnect the data. "Cleartext data" is not exchanged at any point. By decoupling the personal information and traits – such as details about purchases or the customer’s age – Data SecureTTP ensures full compliance with the provisions of the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG). It also makes it possible to share data with third parties. The possible applications for Data SecureTTP are extremely diverse, from evaluations of target group segments and cross-selling potential, to individual selections, augmentation with traits, cookie matching and more. They help us to conveniently resolve a wide range of compliance requirements. All for the benefit and protection of the customer, who doesn’t even notice the digital protective mechanism doing its work in the background."
CEO of Arvato Digital Marketing
Read more about the protection of media users and customers and other corporate responsibility topics in the magazine"24/7 Responsibility" .