Sunday, August 14, 2022
NewsUK Government takes major step towards delivery of an Online Harms Bill

UK Government takes major step towards delivery of an Online Harms Bill

FRAMEWORK for a future a bill that holds social media platforms more accountable for child safety is set to be announced today by the UK Government.

The Online Harms Bill has the potential to provide greater protection for children when they use the internet.

The Secretary of State for the UK Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, will be making a statement in the House of Commons at 12.30pm.

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(Photo by dole777 on Unsplash) Online grooming crimes in Scotland were more than 30% higher while children were not at school during the Coronavirus pandemic compared with the same months last year.

It is expected that Mr Dowden will explain that social media companies have a duty to protect users from child abuse and could face fines of up to £18m or 10% of their global turnover if they fail.

Peter Wanless, NSPCC CEO said: “This is a landmark moment – the NSPCC has long called for an enforceable legal Duty of Care on tech companies and today is a major step towards legislation that can make that a reality.

“For too long children have been exposed to disgraceful abuse and harm online.

“Child protection and children’s voices must remain front and centre of regulatory requirements.

“We set out six tests for robust regulation – including action to tackle both online sexual abuse and harmful content and a regulator with the power to investigate and hold tech firms to account with criminal and financial sanctions.

“We will now be closely scrutinising the proposals against those tests.

“Above all, legislation must ensure Ofcom has the power and resources to enforce the duty of care and be able to identify and then take appropriate action against tech firms that fail.” 

It is expected a draft Bill will be scrutinised by MPs and Lords before being passed into law.

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