TalkTalk Clarifies Stance on Automatic Adult Content Filters

Lila Gray

LONDON — TalkTalk has issued a clarification about its adult content filters, stating that the customer still has to choose to apply said filters.

In a post on its blog, the U.K. ISP explained that when signing up, the "Yes" option for its “HomeSafe filter” would be selected by default. However, it highlighted that the customer would still have to accept the settings for the filter to be applied.

"We pre-tick the 'on' option, but it's the customer's choice. Filters will only ever be applied if the customer has consented, and they're able to change their mind or edit their level of protection at any point,” wrote Alex Birtles, TalkTalk’s head of external communications. “In fact, we actively encourage customers to amend their settings, because what level of protection a family needs will change over time as children mature or move away."

The clarification comes in the wake of media reports following Sky's announcement last week that it would be activating filters by default. 

The Sky Broadband Shield is now being switched on for all customers, unless they make an explicit choice to opt out.

While most TalkTalk customers have already made a choice about whether or not to apply the filter, the company says it will make it compulsory for those who have not yet made a decision.

"The good news is nearly all of our customers have now made their decision," Birtles continued. "A very small proportion haven't visited their account settings, so to reach those people we've developed a 'pop-up' box which those customers will see when they try to visit any website that would be filtered by HomeSafe if it was active. The pop-up will present them with an unavoidable choice, with customers free to decide whether HomeSafe is right for them."