PICS Statement of Principles

PICS is a cross-industry working group whose goal is to facilitate the development of technologies to give users of interactive media, such as the Internet, control over the kinds of material to which they and their children have access. PICS members believe that individuals, groups and businesses should have easy access to the widest possible range of content selection products, and a diversity of voluntary rating systems.

In order to advance its goals, PICS will devise a set of standards that facilitate the following:

enable content providers to voluntarily label the content they create and distribute.
Third-party rating:
enable multiple, independent labeling services to associate additional labels with content created and distributed by others. Services may devise their own labeling systems, and the same content may receive different labels from different services.
enable parents and teachers to use ratings and labels from a diversity of sources to control the information that children under their supervision receive.

PICS members believe that an open labeling platform which incorporates these features provides the best way to preserve and enhance the vibrancy and diversity of the Internet. Easy access to technology which enables first- and third-party rating of content will give users maximum control over the content they receive without requiring new restrictions on content providers.

Membership in PICS includes a broad cross-section of companies from the computer, communications, and content industries, as well as trade associations and public interest groups. PICS member will deploy products and services based on these standards.

Comments to Jim Miller.