CTIA Initiatives

As wireless services and devices continue to offer more robust capabilities, CTIA and its members developed voluntary programs and best practices to help parents maintain choice and control over how their kids use wireless technology. In addition to the wireless companies’ individual parental management tools, CTIA has anticipated the needs of parents and families by creating voluntary programs that set a baseline of requirements to help standardize content classifications for the material available from wireless service providers or applications on wireless devices.

Here are some of the voluntary initiatives CTIA’s member companies have adopted to help parents and families: 

CTIA’s Guidelines for Carrier Content Classification and Internet Access

In 2004, when many kids were using cellphones for only voice calls and texting, CTIA developed the Wireless Carrier Content Classification Guidelines for content provided by wireless carriers, as well as Internet Access Control Guidelines for content available from websites and other sources outside of wireless carriers’ control.

Under these guidelines, participating wireless service providers agreed to develop content classification standards and educate consumers about the meaning of the chosen categories and ratings.

Mobile content is classified as Generally Accessible Carrier Content that is available to consumers of all ages and Restricted Carrier Content that is accessible only to those who are 18 years and older or if younger than 18, when specifically authorized by a parent. This system helps parents to monitor and see the content ratings their kids are downloading and using.

CTIA’s Best Practices and Guidelines for Location Based Services

Recognizing the risks and significant potential of Location Based Services (LBS), CTIA and its member companies developed these guidelines so  consumers have notice and consent to the use of their location information. As part of the family rules, parents and kids should agree that kids need to ask permission BEFORE using a location-based service.

  • Notice: Participating LBS Providers must make certain that users are informed about how you or your kids’ location information will be used, disclosed and protected so  you can decide whether to use the service.
  • Consent: LBS Providers must have user consent to the use or disclosure of location information before turning on the LBS, except for special emergency circumstances.