Thursday 30th November 2023

(3 months ago)

Written Statements
Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Tom Tugendhat Portrait The Minister for Security (Tom Tugendhat)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Today, I am pleased to inform the House that we are publishing the online fraud charter.

A key deliverable in the Government’s fraud strategy—https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fraud-strategy

—the online fraud charter contains a series of ambitious commitments from several of the largest tech companies in the world. These commitments reflect a landmark moment in our fight against fraud and will target some of the most harmful and pervasive frauds that occur online. This includes stronger action to make sure people are who they say they are on marketplaces and on dating apps. It will ensure that signatory companies make fraud easier to report online. When content or users are found to be fraudulent, immediate and decisive enforcement action will be taken.

Further detail will be published online but the charter will contain actions focusing on:

Blocking frauds from occurring in the first place

Improved reporting structures and faster takedowns of harmful content and users

Making sure advertisers are who they say they are

Greater collaboration with law enforcement and other partners to drive further intelligence sharing, transparency, public communications and horizon scanning.

Tech companies have made strong progress in the last several years in combating fraud and, with the Online Safety Act 2023 in the process of coming fully into operation, change will be a statutory responsibility. However, those that have signed this charter have shown their willingness to work faster and in a more targeted fashion than regulation will require. I commend their constructive engagement and their ambition in agreeing to these commitments. I am pleased to see them taking responsibility to protect their users from fraud.

We are taking the fight to the fraudsters, targeting the criminals that try to exploit us when we are online. Today, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Media, Tourism and Creative Industries has also announced the publication of the Online Advertising Taskforce action plan, which brings together initiatives from industry and Government to tackle illegal online advertising and increase protections for children. Through both of today’s announcements, the Government and industry will implement significant steps to make sure that the British public are protected online. The online fraud charter will be published on the Joint Fraud Taskforce gov.uk page— https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/joint-fraud-taskforce.

[HCWS82]