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ABU DHABI: Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan attended the launch of Family Center, a new parental control feature in Snapchat.
The new feature was developed in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Opportunities and Snap Inc. It aims to support the UAE’s efforts to improve digital wellbeing and provide a safe environment, especially for children.
Family Center gives parents and guardians control over their children’s Internet activities, allowing them to see the people they communicate with without seeing the content of the conversations to protect children’s privacy.
This feature also allows parents to report any abusive or suspicious accounts directly to Snap’s Trust and Safety team. Snap also launched new tools to promote open and meaningful online conversations.
Alongside Sheikh Saif, the launch ceremony was attended by Minister of State for Government Development and Future Ohood bint Khalfan Al-Roumi, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence Omar bin Sultan Al-Olama, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs Huda Al-Hashimi, Chairman of the Media Office of the Government of United Arab Emirates Saeed Mohammad Al-Eter and representatives of Snapchat.
The ceremony saw the signing of the first Emirati family who will use the new feature.
Snap has already reached out to families to identify the needs of parents and their children, as well as their views on parenting standards and privacy, which differ from person to person. The company also consulted with online safety and security experts to get their feedback on the new Family Center feature.
In developing the new feature, Snap aimed to introduce tools specifically designed to reflect human behavior and increase trust and cooperation between parents and their children.
The Ministry of Possibilities has confirmed that the collaboration with Snap for the launch of the Family Center feature reflects the commitment of the Government of the United Arab Emirates to provide its citizens and residents with all the tools necessary to ensure their security, protect their privacy on Internet and build their confidence. This feature would reinforce the department’s commitment to increasing the level of protection when using social media platforms.
“With the launch of Family Center, we are adding new levels of security and new communication channels for families to discuss online threats. We are confident that Family Center will become the new benchmark for online safety,” said Georg Wolfart, head of public policy at Snap Inc.
Family Center enhances existing benefits specifically designed for children. By default, children must be mutual friends before they can start communicating with each other. Also, friend lists are private and children are not allowed to have public profiles. Other safeguards make it harder for strangers to locate children. The app’s friends lists are private and children cannot have public accounts opened.
In the coming months, Snap plans to add more safety features to Family Center, such as new content controls for parents and the ability for their children to notify them when they report an account or piece of content. to Snap’s trust and safety team. A feature that will allow parents to see new friends their children have added will also be available soon.