John Carr graduated in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is now one of the world’s leading authorities on children's and young people’s use of the internet and associated new technologies. He has also worked on issues of digital inclusion, particularly around older people's use of technology.
In 2022 in the UK, his book, "Escape From The Ghetto", published by Hodder, was shortlisted by the Royal Society of Literature for the Christopher Bland Prize. In the USA, it was published by Pegasus Books and received a starred review in the "Kirkus Review". "Escape" has been translated and published in Dutch, Spanish, Danish, Polish, and Italian, with a Romanian edition scheduled for mid-2023.
John is Senior Technical Adviser (Online) to Bangkok-based global NGO ECPAT International and Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety (CHIS). He was Chair of the Advisory Board of "EU Consent", an EU-funded project that is establishing an international framework for online age verification solutions. It will also allow sites to obtain parental consent if that is a legal or policy requirement. He led the campaign to get age verification made a legal requirement for online gambling websites operating in the UK. It became law in the Gambling Act 2005. John is also a member of the Advisory Board of INHOPE.
John was the Expert Adviser to the European NGO Alliance for Child Safety Online (eNACSO), which was administered by Save the Children, Italy. Within the UK, he was a member of the government's Task Force on Child Internet Safety from 2001 until it was reconstituted in 2008 as the Executive Board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS). He remained a member of the UKCCIS Board until 2018. From 2011-2021, John was a member of the British Board of Film Classification Advisory Panel on Children's Viewing. John has acted as a consultant to the Office of the Children's Commissioner for England and is also a former Director of the Internet Watch Foundation. He has acted as an adviser to ethical investors with significant shareholdings in tech businesses.
John has been a Senior Expert Adviser to the United Nations (International Telecommunication Union), an Expert Adviser to the European Union and the European Network and Information Security Agency, and has been an adviser to the Council of Europe in relation to the online aspects of the Lanzarote Convention. He has been an adviser to the UK government on matters connected with domain name registrations in relation to the remit of the Public Safety Working Group of the Governmental Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
In June 2012, John was appointed as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This was extended and renewed in 2015 and 2018. In January 2014, John was appointed to the Strategic Reference Group established by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary in relation to their national inspection of how the police service manages internet-enabled child sexual exploitation cases. He was a member of the Academic Network established by the Chief Constable of Norfolk, then the national ACPO lead on child abuse investigations. He is also a member of the Europol Platform for Experts.
At different times, John has been engaged professionally to advise or assist several major high tech companies including Newscorp and Fox Interactive Media, where he was a Vice President of MySpace and a consultant. John has also worked for Yahoo UK & Ireland, Google, Phorm (UK), Vodafone, Lego, 02, Ask.FM, the Motion Pictures Association of America, Disney, 21st Century Fox, NBC, SafeToNet and YOTI, ICF (a Brussels-based consultancy), UNICEF Albania, UNICEF Georgia, and UNICEF India. He was recently engaged by the Council of Europe with a project in Moldova and is currently engaged with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which is based in Vienna.
In June 2010, John was honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with an OBE. In November 2011, John received an award for "Outstanding Achievement" in the field of online child safety from the Washington DC-based Family Online Safety Institute. In 2006, he was named by the New Statesman as one of 50 global “Modern Heroes”. In 2003, John was also named by New Media Age as one of the UK’s 50 most influential people in the new media industries.
John regularly contributes to TV and radio programmes on the subject of online safety and security. He was also formerly the internet columnist for Prospect magazine and has written about the internet for The Observer, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Guardian, and many other journals, both in the UK and overseas.
Pro bono he has been a Director of the charity Horsesmouth, an online mentoring social network, the Technical Advisory Committee of Breakthough Breast Cancer , and the Advisory Board of Digital Trust. Along the way, John was also a Founding Trustee of DEMOS, one of the UK’s leading independent Think Tanks.
John is a former member of Microsoft’s Policy Advisory Board for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and a former member of the Advisory Council of the Family Online Safety Institute in Washington DC, USA. He is member of the Advisory Council of Beyond Borders, Canada.See more from John Carr