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Malcolm Harbour MEP is President of the European Internet Foundation and the Conservatives’ spokesman on consumer protection in the European Parliament. He has welcomed today a voluntary agreement from seventeen web firms (including Facebook, YouTube and MySpace) to better protect personal data and reduce cyber bullying and grooming.

Easily accessible ‘report abuse’ buttons will be made available, as will better privacy settings. Mr Harbour, who wants these developments continually reviewed, commented:

"Social networking has changed the lives of millions of people, but it has exposed minors to great potential hazards.

Regulators, internet firms and parents all have a role to play to protect children using these sites, and the code agreed today will make it more difficult for rogue users to track down and contact minors.

Social networking sites are still developing and we must ensure that the protections offered develop at the same pace."

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