05 February 2013 | General, ISCH, ICT
Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day 2013 takes places on Tuesday 5 February. The theme for the day is 'Online rights and responsibilities', encouraging users to 'Connect with respect'. COST contributes through supporting research networks on Privacy Protection in Multimedia Content, Cyberbullying and Hardware Security.

Over the years, Safer Internet Day (SID) has become a landmark event in the online safety calendar. Starting as an initiative of the EU SafeBorders project in 2004 and taken up by the Insafe network  as one of its earliest actions in 2005, Safer Internet Day has grown beyond its traditional geographic zone and is now celebrated in more than 90 countries worldwide, and across six of the world’s seven continents.

Protecting Privacy

COST Action IC1206  supports privacy protection on the Internet by coordinating research on 'De-identification for privacy protection in multimedia content'. De-identification in multimedia content can be defined as the process of concealing the identities of individuals captured in a given set of data (images, video, audio, text), for the purpose of protecting their privacy. This will provide an effective means for supporting the EU’s Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC), which is concerned with the introduction of appropriate measures for the protection of personal data. This COST Action aims to facilitate coordinated interdisciplinary efforts (related to scientific, legal, ethical and societal aspects) in the introduction of person de-identification and reversible de-identification in multimedia content.


One of the threats to safe use of the Internet and new technologies is cyberbullying. It refers to the harassment of others by means of new electronic technologies, primarily mobile phones and the Internet. Traditional forms of bullying in schools are more commonly known, and a great deal of research has been carried out into these phenomena. Cyberbullying has arisen and increased dramatically in the past few years, hand-in-hand with the technological development of new communications tools.

Mobile phone companies and Internet service providers, researchers, students, teachers, parents, unions - as well as local, regional and national authorities - are all starting to engage in various ways with the issues involved in cyberbullying. Despite the topic being widely discussed, research is relatively scarce. There are, of course, many positive uses of new communications technologies for relationships in schools, such as using a school intranet for peer support services. The development and uptake of these tools must however emphasise their constructive roles, and this is exactly why it is so important to promote cyberbullying research.

With this in mind COST Action IS0801 'Cyberbullying: Coping with Negative and Enhancing Positive Uses of New Technologies, in Relationships in Educational Settings' has focused on both coping with the negative aspects and enhancing the positive uses of new, relationship-building technologies within educational settings. This COST Action has brought  researchers together beyond Europe’s borders - helping information and communication technologies be safer for everyone.

Hardware Security

COST Action IC1204 works on  ' Trustworthy Manufacturing and Utilization of Secure Devices'. This COST Action aims at creating a European network of competence and experts on all aspects of hardware security including design, manufacturing, testing, reliability, validation and utilisation. The network will play a key role in developing solutions responding to the hardware security challenges, hence strengthening the position of Europe in the field.

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