Child protection for mobile networking

Isis Forensics, a Lancaster University spin-out company, has launched a £54,000 research and development project to develop software for protecting children from abuse while using mobile phones.

The project is being part funded by the NWDA with a £34,528 Grant for Research and Development.

As part of the project, Isis Forensics will develop tools for protecting children engaged in mobile social networking. Core to this is the creation of language-analysis software that can be run on a mobile phone to identify when a child is at risk from potential predators.

James Walkerdine of Isis Forensics said: ’Children are increasingly using mobile devices to access online social networks such as Myspace and Facebook, and it is vital to ensure that they are properly protected when they do so.’

As part of the ongoing development process, Isis Forensics’ researchers plan to engage with parents and children in the North West, setting up special focus groups in which developments will be demonstrated and discussed. By working closely with parent and children groups, the company hopes to develop technologies that help alleviate the concerns of parents while also being acceptable to children.

The first of the focus groups will be held in July and interested participants should visit to register and to find out more.