(Formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist and MATIMOP)

Bosco - Helping Parents Protect Their Children from Cyberbullying

SIIRD Foundation instrumental in creating a partnership that produced the Bosco technology and platform

The digital world has made it difficult for parents to keep their children safe, especially on mobile devices. Children receive smartphones earlier than ever and begin managing their social lives online and out of sight. They are creating massive amounts of data - and parents are struggling to keep up. This has led to a dramatic increase in cyberbullying and other cyber-crimes against children.

The biggest roadblock to creating solutions to help parents protect their children online is the ability to effectively identify suspicious or unusual events, and provide real-time notification to the parents. Children are creating massive amounts of data every day. Each child takes an average of 500 photos, makes 135 calls, and send or receive nearly 15,000 messages per month. Parents are struggling to find the signal in the noise, and as a result, children are left vulnerable.

An effective child safety solution must also take the privacy of the child into account. Invasive spying tools or overbearing control apps harm the trust and communication between parents and children and create an adversarial relationship. We need to be able to empower parents with the information they need to keep their children safe without compromising children’s privacy, and increase trust and communication between parents and children in the process.

Bosco’s machine learning algorithms, developed by Alerteenz, is able to predict threats to children before they happen by analyzing children’s behavioral patterns and detecting any deviations, threats, or suspicious events. In the case of a potential threat, Bosco send parents real-time notifications, telling them that their child might need their attention and protection. In contrast, current competitors, leave parents to make sense themselves of mountains of raw data, or attempt (and fail) to limit and control their children’s online activity.

Bosco will dramatically lower the occurrence of cyberbullying, harassment, and cases of child exploitation by giving parents the information they need to protect their children. Bosco’s actionable insights draw parents’ attention at the right time, while they can still prevent the threat to their children, providing them with desperately needed peace of mind

Bosco’s goal is to give parents the information they need while it is still possible to prevent the occurrence of cyber-crimes against children. With Bosco, parents do not waste time setting up complicated dashboards or reviewing thousands of messages. After a simple setup process, parents begin to receive alerts that help catalyze parent-child communication right when it matters. This unique approach allows Bosco to detect, report, and help prevent threats without compromising children's privacy.

Bosco is tackling one of the most important societal challenges - the safety of our children, especially in regards to cyberbullying. The lack of parental involvement in their kids’ social lives has led to massive increase in cyberbullying occurrences, and the associated social and economic costs are severe. There are significant implications for the short and long-term mental health, self-esteem, education, and life prosperity of cyberbullying victims. The number of incidents is enormous, and the problem is becoming more acute and widespread with every passing year.

Research held in the UK and the USA found that more than 50% of kids in the ages of 8-15 have experienced cyberbullying at least once, and 20% of them had suicidal thoughts. In addition, 38% of the bullied kids said they did not tell their parents or guardians.

Effective intervention and prediction can greatly reduce the global cost in both the short and long terms. Bosco’s actionable insights and predictive ability enable parents to better safeguard their children from online threats. This safety will lead to children who are more physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy, who will grow up to be productive members of society.

 About the Collaborating Companies

Alerteenz - founded in 2015, its main target is to empower parents to take care of their children by enabling them better awareness for signs of distress as reflected from child’s smartphone activity, without violating the child’s privacy. This can be achieved by turning technologies into tangible results designed to meet the needs of a fast-changing world. Alerteenz brings together great expertise in both R&D and marketing abilities, working side by side with psychologists and experts on harassment in online environment.

Panasonic (PRDCSG) - Panasonic R&D Center Singapore (PRDCSG) is a wholly owned R&D arm of Panasonic Corporation, which contributes significantly to the company’s global R&D and business. Founded in 1990, its mission is to build a “Technology Innovation Hub”; aimed at rapidly transforming demanded technologies into tangible results and innovating to meet the needs of a fast-changing world. PRDCSG is experienced in providing technologies and proof-of-concept in audio, video, communication mobile networking and IoT Systems.

The Collaboration - Israel Innovation Authority (formerly the Office of the Chief Scientist of Israel), jointly with Singapore EDB has been supporting Alerteenz and PRDCSG’s innovative child safety and parent-child communication application since September 2017 through the SIIRD Foundation . SIIRD is funding close to $1 million grant for the project development over the next two years. SIIRD was integral in facilitating the partnership between Alerteenz and PRDCSG, bringing together the unique skill sets required to build and commercialize Bosco’s technology and platform.