On 4 May 2022, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a consultation (available here) to request views from the tech industry on potential interventions to enhance security and privacy requirements for firms running app stores and developers making apps.
Avid readers of this blog (and we trust there are many of you!) will recall that the UK government recently published a white paper. The white paper sets out the UK government’s approach to regulating the internet to tackle online harms. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has just published the Information Commissioner’s (Commissioner) full…
Britain’s data protection and broadcasting regulators, the Information Commissioner’s Office and Ofcom, have published a joint Report looking into internet users’ concerns about online harms. The British government’s recently published White Paper, which outlined its approach for regulating the internet to tackle online harms, was informed by this Report.
Over 3,000 interviews were…
The UK government recently published its response (Government Response) to a House of Lords committee report (Committee Report) discussing prospective regulation of digital services facilitated by the internet.
The Government Response largely accepts the key recommendations of the Committee Report, and finds the Committee Report is closely aligned with the government’s…
The UK Government has published a White Paper outlining its approach towards regulating the internet to tackle online harms.
The White Paper cites a study carried out by the UK’s communications regulator (Ofcom) and data protection regulator (Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)). The study found that nearly one in four British adults suffered harm from either online content or their interactions online. Regulatory and voluntary initiatives currently dealing with online harms were identified by the UK Government as not going far enough or being inconsistently enforced.
The White Paper broadly identified what would be considered an online harm. These include activities and content involving:
- child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA)
- encouragement of self-harm and/or suicide
- online abuse of public figures
- interference with legal proceedings
- children accessing inappropriate content
The Select Committee on Communications of the House of Lords (Committee) published a report discussing UK regulation of ‘digital services facilitated by the internet’.
We summarise some of the key recommendations of the report, which was published on 9 March 2019:
1. A central regulatory body called the Digital Authority should be set up to co-ordinate internet regulation.
2. All future internet regulation should be informed by 10 common principles:
- Parity: ensuring online and offline regulation offer equivalent protection for individuals.
- Accountability: digital actors are to be held to account.
- Transparency: powerful digital actors should be open to scrutiny.
- Openness: facilitate innovation and choice for users.
- Privacy: ensure that regulation closes the gap between policy and user expectations about data protection and data privacy.
- Ethical design: ethical standards should be incorporated into the design of technology and delivered by default.
- Recognition of childhood: protect children and ensure accessibility.
- Respect for human rights and equality: safeguard freedom of expression.
- Education and awareness-raising: promote digital literacy.
- Democratic accountability, proportionality and evidence-based approach: ensure that regulation is evidence based and prevents harm while balancing against the right to freedom of expression.