Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications Timmy Dooley TD has called on Minister Richard Bruton to bring forward plans for a Digital Safety Commissioner as a matter of urgency.

He reiterated the demand following the publication of the latest CyberSafe Ireland survey, which found that two in every five children are speaking to strangers online.

Deputy Dooley commented, “The online world plays a far greater role in the lives of our children than it did five years ago. We cannot allow a situation to develop where we allow tech companies to set the agenda for what children can or cannot be exposed to online.

“These latest figures are deeply concerning. While the research shows that the majority of children are interacting with other children through online games and other relatively harmless activities, a minority of them are being exposed to more worrying practices. Bullying and the sharing of inappropriate images is not uncommon.

“The Law Reform Commission first recommended the establishment of a Digital Safety Commissioner back in 2016. Despite the Minister claiming that he supports the introduction of a Commissioner, there has been no progress on the issue.

“We need to prioritise children’s and public safety, and the first step towards creating a safe online society is to establish a Digital Safety Commissioner. This process needs to be expedited”.