Accountability software, or Internet accountability software, is software which monitors and reports Internet usage, in order to incentivize the avoidance of any content deemed objectionable. Accountability software may monitor all Internet use on a personal computer, or Internet use by a specific user on a computer. These software applications then generate reports of Internet use viewable by a third party, sometimes called an accountability partner. They sometimes also double as content-control software.
"Internet accountability" is a term used to describe a commitment to refrain from using Internet pornography. To try to avoid pornography use, some individuals install accountability software and filtering software on their own computers, smartphones, and tablets. Others install these services on their children's computers and devices.
The largest users of accountability software are religious groups and families.
Most accountability software costs money to use, but there are free options, including Net Responsibility (for Mac OS and Linux) and the free version of X3watch (for Windows and Mac OS). A 2011 Swinburne University report discusses some commercial options for computers, including Safe Eyes and Covenant Eyes. Covenant Eyes, one of the largest for-profit companies marketing accountability software, made roughly US $4 million in 2008, from around 56,000 subscriptions.
- XXXChurch Pastor and Porn Star Find Some Common Ground at christianpost.com "XXXChurch.com also encourages accountability through its filtering software "X3watch," which sends an email or text message to a person's accountability partner every time he or she visits a questionable website"
- Church Counsels Women Addicted to Pornography at nytimes.com
- Porn again (World (magazine)) "programs track web browsing and deliver regular e-mail updates to an accountability partner of choice."
- "Orthodox Jews Rally to Keep the Internet Kosher". WIRED. 23 May 2012.
- Behun, Richard Joseph; Sweeney, Valerie; Delmonico, David L.; Griffin, Elizabeth J. (2012). "Filtering and Monitoring Internet Content: A Primer for Helping Professionals". Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity. 19 (1–2): 140–155. doi:10.1080/10720162.2012.666425. ISSN 1072-0162.
These tools are especially popular with religious groups and families.
- Grundy, Judith; Grundy, John (August 2011). Australian Social Services Agency Software: Requirements, Current Usage and Opportunities (PDF) (Technical report). Victoria, Australia: Swinburne University Faculty of ICT. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
- "Sumbission - Covenant Eyes, Inc.; Ronald DeHaas (CEO), author Filter Plus Accountability Software" (PDF). submission to law.harvard.edu.