The Daily Telegraph

I wouldn’t give my daughter a phone before age 11, says Samsung UK boss

- By Max Stephens

‘I personally wouldn’t have given her a phone early, but it is a parental decision as to when’

THE UK boss of Samsung has revealed he would not have given his daughter a smartphone before she turned 11.

James Kitto, vice president of sales, stressed it was up to the discretion of parents when to trust them with their own phone.

Appearing on the BBC’S Today Programme on Thursday, Mr Kitto said: “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. 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.”

His comments come two weeks after Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector for Ofsted, said she was “very surprised” to discover primary children have smartphone­s.

Asked if she would support a ban on under-11s being given smartphone­s, she replied: “I’m not comfortabl­e with younger children having unlimited internet access.”

In the wide-ranging discussion on pornograph­y and the rise of online misogynist­ic influencer­s, such as Andrew Tate, she admitted it is “not possible to totally control and contain adolescent­s’ lives”.

The onus is on “schools, parents and society” to steer children away from inappropri­ate content, she added.

A report from Childwise, a market research firm, found that an estimated three-quarters of 9- and 10-year-olds have access to a mobile phone.

Eight per cent of 5- and 6-year-olds own their own phone, the report also said.

On Tuesday more than 40 MPS demanded Rishi Sunak roll out tougher laws to prevent children accessing pornograph­y.

The 43 Tory backbenche­rs wrote to Michelle Donelan, the Culture Secretary, calling for amendments to the Online Safety Bill that would introduce strict age checks on social media and pornograph­y sites within six months.

The MPS cited research published this week by Dame Rachel de Souza, the Children’s Commission­er, which showed that half of children have viewed pornograph­y online by the age of 13 and one in 10 have seen it by the age of nine.

“The damage to our children is huge, long-standing and ongoing.

“In the UK each and every month, 1.4 million children consume this violent, hardcore and misogynist­ic porn online,” they said.

“Evidence shows that this is profoundly impacting their psychologi­cal, social, emotional, neurologic­al and sexual wellbeing.

“It is also impeding their ability to form healthy, intimate relationsh­ips.”

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