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Voluntary Commitments of business

Search engines

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Search engines

In February 2005, the best-known German search engine providers, Google, IAC Search & Media with ask.de, MSN Deutschland, Searchteq GmbH with the online service Suchen.de, T-Online and Yahoo! Deutschland with Yahoo.de, established the organization Selbstkontrolle Suchmaschinen under the auspices of the FSM. It is the first initiative in the world in which the most important, market leading companies have combined on the basis of voluntary engagement to reach agreement on unified standards for the protection of consumers and of young people while preserving freedom of expression and the avoidance of censorship. Together with the FSM, the search engines have developed a sub-code of practice.

Code of Conduct of search engine providers

The search engines have signed an agreement committing themselves to the following measures:

  • public education and information on the functioning of search engines
  • transparency in displaying search results (including marking of advertising)
  • applying technical measures to protect children and young people from harmful content
  • principle of data minimization with personal information of users
  • improvement of youth protection in the media (in particular, protection from content harmful to young people)
  • not displaying Internet addresses which are on the index of media harmful for minors of the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (BPJM) (BPjM-Module)