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Nearly 30 investors sent a letter to AT&T in 2018 regarding actions to prevent child sexual exploitation online. The company was hesitant to commit to action, but an ongoing shareholder dialogue, combined with peer company action and legislative efforts, led to the company taking more significant action. The company was further motivated by a survey it conducted in the New York City area which "revealed somewhat shocking data about children’s risks and use of the Internet and the disconnect with parents’ beliefs that they provided adequate oversight as their children interacted on the web.” 

AT&T then became the first major telecom in North America to agree to assess the risk to children from its businesses from exploitation. By late 2019 AT&T had:

  • formed an Online Safety Committee that meets regularly, and includes issues of child safety online

  • committed to reporting some relevant metrics to investors on child sexual exploitation prevention

  • begun talking with key child exploitation organizations to discuss leading strategies

  • agreed to (the key part of the shareholder proposal’s ask) assess the risk to children from sexual exploitation online from the company’s businesses

  • committed to implementing strategies to educate consumers on child safety online, which the company will share details on publicly

Read the investor letter to AT&T.

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