Internet providers or television providers planning to distribute problematic content which could impair children or adolescents can employ technical measures or access barriers as an alternative to the traditional watersheds. Problematic content can include depictions of violence or sexuality which could convey false ideals or values to children or adolescents, depending on their age and development, or could frighten or overburden them. Technical measures for the protection of minors are specially suited for the internet and for digital television.
The legislator has not laid down any detailed requirements in the JMStV as to the form which technical measures must take, but merely specifies the level of protection to be secured with them. Technical measures can therefore be designed in different forms. A well-known example is the blocking system for the protection of minors employed by Sky Deutschland (formerly Premiere) which specifies that for accessing content, a specific PIN for the protection of minors must be keyed in. Another example is the so-called perso-check procedure (verification of the numbers of the ID card) in the internet with the ID card number serving as a key for accessing a specific content. Technical measures must not meet the strict requirements applying for closed user groups which may permit access to adults only, but can be devised to match the level of protection afforded by the watersheds known from traditional television transmission.
The Interstate Treaty for the Protection of Minors in the Media (JMStV) does not provide for a certification procedure for technical measures. However, in order to offer orientation as well as legal and planning security to providers, and to further the implementation of technical measures in the internet, the KJM has devised a positive assessment system as it did in respect of closed user groups. While no official certification will be granted, the positive assessments can be published in press releases by the KJM. Furthermore, providers using positively rated concepts can rely on thus fulfilling the requirements for the protection of minors in this area as long as they apply the technical measures in practice.
To date, the KJM has given positive ratings to the following concepts for technical measures for the protection of minors in telemedia services: