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Results of the SIP Benchmark Study 2007

Deloitte announced the results of a second European study on filtering solutions for illegal and possibly harmful online information aimed at children. Thirty of the most widespread filtering tools were tested by more than one hundred parents and teachers in ten European countries, and by Expert Testers. In addition to these "real life" testers, an Internet laboratory was set up to conduct thorough testing on 30 software packages under identical conditions. This benchmark analyses how effectively technical solutions protect children between 6 and 16 years old against harmful content on the Internet.

The results of the 2007 Benchmarking study have been compared with those of 2006 to reveal the evolution of these tools. 50% of the 23 filters, which have been tested in 2006 and 2007, have improved their filtering capabilities regarding non-sexual content. Eight of the vendors decreased in scoring than last year relative to sexual content, partly because the test cases now included 'user generated content', Web 2.0, which is more difficult to filter. Seven vendors have resolved the security issues, SIP Benchmark recommended last year and three vendors improved their support of EU languages.

For kids younger than 10 years old, it is generally accepted and confirmed by the SIP-Bench Steering Board that a filter may block too much if that ensures almost all harmful content is filtered. For children older than 10 years, people tend to prefer to filter carefully, even if this means that some content is not filtered, in order not to block any interesting content. Carlo Schüpp, Deloitte Partner, says: "This study shows that filtering technology is maturing and can be made effective to live up to the expectations of child carers throughout the EU. Still, further improvement is needed to remove the perception of "filtering does not work"".

The complete press release is to be found under http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/press_release/0,1014,cid%253D191635,00.html

Available on the website since February 11, 2008