Samsung boss didn't give daughter a mobile until 11
By Uke Samuel
9 months ago
- Top Stories
The UK boss of Samsung Mobile has said he did not give his daughter a smartphone until she was 11.
"I personally wouldn't have given her one early, but it is a parental decision as to when you should get your child a phone," said James Kitto.
He said whatever age people get phones, it was important to make sure they were safe online.
It comes after Ofsted's chief inspector said she was "surprised" when primary school children have smartphones.
Children as young as nine have been exposed to online pornography, a study found this week.
Mr Kitto, who took the role at Samsung in December last year, told the BBC's Today programme: "What is important here is that, whoever is using a smartphone, of whatever age, is safe when they are surfing and browsing the internet."
"From my personal perspective, my daughter got a smartphone when she was 11."
"Whatever choice you make, and whatever age you make that choice for your child, it is important to ensure that, if they are accessing the internet, they are accessing it in a safe way," he said.
All mobile phone providers give free parental control services to limit what children can see on the internet, according to the telecoms regulator, Ofcom, which also says children should be careful when sharing pictures and social networking.
A study by research firm Childwise suggests that three-quarters of nine and 10-year-olds have access to a mobile phone.
That breaks down as 60% owning a mobile phone, and 14% using a family member's or friend's.
More than two-thirds of those children go online.
The same report - Childwise Monitor 2023 - found that 8% of five and six-year-olds own their own phone, and 8% have access to a family member's or friend's, while for seven and eight-year olds, those figures are 43% and 23% respectively.
Last month, Ofsted's chief inspector Amanda Spielman said she was "not comfortable" with younger children having unlimited internet access, and said there was a "great deal" that can be done to limit children's access to porn and adult content.
Earlier this week, a survey by the Children's Commissioner for England was published that asked 16 to 21-year-olds when they first saw pornography.
The findings suggested that by age nine, 10% of children had seen porn, and 27% had seen it by age 11.
By the age of 13, half of them had been exposed to it.
Since those young people were at school, more now have access to phones.
The findings have been linked to low self-esteem among young people and harmful views of sex and relationships.
Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza said it was "deeply concerning".[NewsNaira]