[FEATURE PROPOSAL] Child safety features in /e/ - some thoughts

I have a thought to share - would like to collect your thoughts.

As a privacy-enabled system /e/ has potential to become the perfect phone for youngsters ("my first phone"). I was just wondering how this could concretely look like/what extra features could useful.

It would be a unique out-of-the-box feature in Android. iOS12 delivers something like that already out of the box.

As parent I would not want to spy on my kid (following conversations, locations etc). But I would like to control what apps he/she is able to use and for how long. I would like as well to be able to set downtimes (night time) for the devices. Ideally I would be able to control that - as a parent - on distance and get usage statistics as well, either via an app or via the /e/-cloud. Ideally, I’d be able as well to install further apps on distance.

A first step could simply be a password lock for the store (result: no further installation neither via store nor via apk possible).
A second step could be to allow the setting of downtime and usage directly from the target phone (maybe from a different account).
A third step could be a remote controllable thing.
I attached some screenshots from iOS to underline what I have in mind.
All this would probably be post V1.0.



I don’t like the remote controllable thing. It really creeps me out!! Isn’t it so creepy for remote spying (‘where’s my kid’) with Android?
Definitely don’t approve of this…
However it could be really useful (I’m not a parent… :smile: )

Just my opinion. What do others say?

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Thank you for your thought :slight_smile:

In addition to the “mum and dad” goal (poor Mum and Dad, always treated like silly people), a child goal could be great too. It would enlarge the target of /e/ and could be advertised as a privacy respectful OS and/or a child OS. So twice as much visibility in the press.

I imagine something like a parental control like “Restrictions” in iOS : in the Parental control section in settings, you set the parent password then you parameter :

  • Available/displayed applications on the BlissLauncher.
  • Possibility or not to install APK.
  • Possibility or not to use the Camera, cellular dara, Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS.
  • An history of the time per application in the last 7 days which details for each day.
  • A limit time of use per day and/or per app per day.
  • A sleep time when the phone stops working (only calls and SMS would be available for pre-defined contacts, like parents for emergency).
  • An option to give the ability to use an app/the phone 15min more in case it’s needed, but it would add this in the Parental Control tab with a “FireFox extra-time : 2” in order to inform parents.
  • The ability to change the default extra-time of 15min to something else.
  • The ability to unlock the phone with the parent password. (Not sure about this one)
  • For transparancy reasons, in the Parental Control tab the child has to be able to see all the settings, but of course not be able to change them without the parent password.

But everything would be on the phone. My data is My data, even for a child. Furthermore, remote control and other stuff could make the system weaker against attack.

There is no need to have a total control over the phone to be a good parent and have a good control. You can manually check on the child’s phone his messages and activity of the apps you let accessible if the child is aware of that.

Once you will have enough advice, please suggest your feature by opening an issue with all details and a link to this topic.


Great ideas to start and then build on.

Some marketing ideas:

  • There may be a “oh, your parents control your phone, that is lame!” which any marketing needs to address and circumnavigate if possible.
  • Privacy needs to be look and feel cool. If it can be demonstrated to other children that privacy is good. To most people and perhaps children, these data hungry apps are simply black holes where the data goes to, and it does not appear to affect their lives. Demonstrate what privacy in a day in the life of a youth with an /e/ phone Versus with a google tethered phone.

@haggisns, @donut3. it is not about spyingm rather about wellbeing. Android9/Pie is providing some features to get visibility on your own online behaviour. Visualising is a first step. Kids should see that as well (like: 5h facebook in one day might be a lot…). Parents should be able to see that. Parents should see that in order to start a discussion with the child.
Why I think, maipulating settings via app/cloud could be useful: if you agree with your child on 1h facebook per day and then he/she is calling you saying: “hey, execptionally, i am talkingto my grandma via FB messenger, i need an extra 15 mins” - you need to react and make it possible. So the intention is not playing the ‘invisible hand’. Education needs to happen face-to-face, of course, but the tool needs sufficient flexibility in order to overcome previously set limits, if necessary. This needs to be possible virtually too.
Otherwise, thanks for your feedback, I agree.


No remote control for me. What can be done is that when the phone is locked because the time of use ran out, the child can unlock it every 15min, but it would be indicate in the Parental Control tab by a “Messenger extra time : 3”.
This would be an option in that tab.


Hi, I agree with almost everyone but I think that inserting a parental control as it was a feature of /e/ seems to me “against” the spirit of the project. Maybe it’s better to make a list of third party apps available, maybe in a store specific section.


Well, then let’s think how a parental control could look like when it does respect the spirit of the project.


One thing is certain : children use phone younger and younger. Two choices :

  • Use a standard stock Android phone with a buggy and full of trackers parental control app
  • Use /e/ and its elaborate parental control.

Definitely, the /e/ solution is the best. I don’t see how it could be against /e/ spirit. It would be clearly indicate that a parental control is set, so the child (or other) would be aware in order to prevent abuse. Furthermore, there is just a time of usage per app, not a complete log of all detailed activity.
So it’s not a risk for the privacy respect. And a child can’t have 100% privacy respect, parents would be unconscious in that case.


I definitively agree with @Anonyme. In respect with /e/ vision, details should stay on the kid’s phone. No remote control possibility.
When I first read the topic my thought was similar to yours @VitTh. But since children use smartphone more and more in a young age, I think it’s important to protect them at least a little, as a parent


If I had a child, I don’t give him a smartphone until he understands what it is and how to use it. Maybe I’ll give him a cell phone, but not a smartphone. Who would give a 5 year old child a cleaver? You can check it as long as you want but I think a cleaver is not suitable for a 5 year old child. In any case, this is a private sphere and there is no right or wrong answer.

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Well I have a child, not 5 but twice as old and the pressure from classmates who have phones (many of them) is increasing. Times are changing…
Currently I am resisting… but the point will be coming at which I have to give in (no matter when). Using properly a smartphone (and not using it) is something we all have to learn. I’d say there are lots of adults who are actually managing rather bad than right. But for kids its is our responsability - there must be some guidance combined with talking and explaining. I did not entirely made up my mind about the technical side of the thing, that’s why I am sharing my thoughts and asking for input.
I am just convinced that /e/ is the right platform and it would be great to have a feature like this being integrated into the system - out-of-the-box or as a kind of “plug-in”.


Sadly in our days, It’s hard to wait until you’re 16 to get a smartphone (why 16 ? Because I think before, most of children can’t really understand what they are doing/using).

It would definitely isolate the child from the group class or friends.
And he can’t learn if he never use it daily.

So that parental control would be a nice solution in order not to be exposed to the world and not to be completely isolated.

The parents would know what the child does so I don’t see the issue. A child need to be guided. When he will “understands what it ise and how to use it”, you will just have to deactivate the parental control.

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I’d be concerned that this kind of thing would be teaching children to accept surveillance as normal.

It’s not surveillance, it’s education. The parental control wouldn’t share high level personnal data, just basics statistics. (Actually once the parent is on the phone in order to see those statistics, he could see everything like messages etc so there is nothing to worry about that parental control. Even without it, if the parents know the password it’s over for privacy).
When a child goes out, he tells his/her parents where he goes, when he comes back and who he meets. Why should it be different on the Internet ? Like I said, a child can’t have 100% privacy.

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Unless this is to be read by the parent, which sure seems like surveillance to me, then what is it for?

Surveillance would be to read the kids communication. This is controlling roughly screen on time and supervising the selection of installed apps. and it does not happen in a hidden way, it needs to be built on mutual consent. As @Anonyme says, I consider this as well education.

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@Vaughan most everyone already accept surveillance as normal --!!

And our mission is to change that.


:+1: Yes!!!:grinning: Definitely this needs to be changed!!!
But it is extremely difficult…