Make verified ID a requirement for opening a social media account.

Make it a legal requirement when opening a new social media account, to provide a verified form of ID. Where the account belongs to a person under the age of 18 verify the account with the ID of a parent/guardian, to prevent anonymised harmful activity, providing traceability if an offence occurs.

688,548 Signatures

Status
Open
Opened
Friday 5th March 2021
Last 24 hours signatures
140
Signature Deadline
Sunday 5th September 2021
Estimated Final Signatures: 694,510

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
Recent Documents related to Make verified ID a requirement for opening a social media account.

1. Make verified ID a requirement for opening a social media account.
19/02/2021 - Petitions

Found: Make it a legal requirement when opening a new social media account, to provide a verified form of ID

2. Yoti - written evidence
26/03/2019 - Inquiry: Immersive and addictive technologies - Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
- View source

Found: that there is currently “no foolproof way” to prevent under 13s from signing up. They agree that current

3. VoCO (Verification of Children Online) Phase 2 report
10/11/2020 - Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
- View source

Found: Children Online) Phase 2 Report fiIf platforms could verify which of their users were children, then as

4. VoCO (Verification of Children Online) Phase 2 report
10/11/2020 - Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)
- View source

Found: Children Online) Phase 2 Report fiIf platforms could verify which of their users were children, then as

5. Online harms: interim codes of practice
15/12/2020 - Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
- View source

Found: 2020ContentsIntroduction 4Section 1: Identify, Prevent and Act on Harmful Content 7Section 2: A Specialised Approach

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Make verified ID a requirement for opening a social media account.

1. Online Anonymity and Anonymous Abuse
24/03/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: e-petition 575833, Make verified ID a requirement for opening a social media account, and e-petition 332315 - Speech Link
2: and misogynistic abuse, they attack looks, weight, age, race, gender, disability, success as well as failure - Speech Link
3: years of stalking and harassment. She is a retired social worker. She has found the police ill equipped to - Speech Link

2. Online Pornography (Commercial Basis) Regulations 2018
11/12/2018 - Lords Chamber

1: introduced a requirement for commercial providers of online pornography to have robust age-verification - Speech Link

3. Digital Economy
17/12/2018 - Commons Chamber

1: British Board of Film Classification Guidance on Age-verification Arrangements 2018, which was laid before - Speech Link
2: introduced the requirement for commercial providers of online pornography to have robust age-verification - Speech Link
3: I ask the House to indulge me for a second. A parent came to my surgery soon after I was elected to - Speech Link

4. Digital Economy Bill
02/02/2017 - Lords Chamber

1: page 21, line 21, at beginning insert “If the person in contravention of section 15(1) is resident in - Speech Link
2: My Amendment 56 is to Clause 20, which allows the age verification regulator to impose a fine of either - Speech Link
3: practical terms, if a website is not in compliance the age-verification regulator can inform financial transaction - Speech Link

5. Data Protection Bill [HL]
10/10/2017 - Lords Chamber

1: explosive growth of the world wide web, the rise of social media and faster and faster connectivity, powering - Speech Link
2: paragraphs and 18 schedules, one of which helpfully signposts the way that the Government intend to make changes - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Make verified ID a requirement for opening a social media account.
1. Social Media: Age
asked by: Jim Cunningham
05/03/2019
... what recent discussions his Department has had with social media companies on the adequacy of the (a) age limits on users of their services and (b) checks that those companies have in place on the age of users.

2. France and New Zealand: Social Media
asked by: Jim Cunningham
16/05/2019
... what discussions he has had with his (a) French and (b) New Zealand counterpart on reducing the amount of violent and terrorist content on social media.

Latest Questions

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My son Harvey is disabled. He is also the kind and gentle son of a person regularly in the public eye. The Online Harms Bill doesn’t go far enough in making online abuse a specific criminal offence and doing what ‘Harvey’s Law’ intended. To make the law work needs the removal of anonymity to ensure that users cannot cause harm by using online platforms to abuse others. Where an offence has taken place they ought to be easily identified and reported to the police and punished. We have experienced the worst kind of abuse towards my disabled son and want to make sure that no one can hide behind their crime.


Petition Signatures over time

Government Response

Wednesday 5th May 2021

The Online Safety legislation will address anonymous harmful activity. User ID verification for social media could disproportionately impact vulnerable users and interfere with freedom of expression.


The government recognises concerns linked to anonymity online, which can sometimes be exploited by bad actors seeking to engage in harmful activity. However, restricting all users’ right to anonymity, by introducing compulsory user verification for social media, could disproportionately impact users who rely on anonymity to protect their identity. These users include young people exploring their gender or sexual identity, whistleblowers, journalists’ sources and victims of abuse. Introducing a new legal requirement, whereby only verified users can access social media, would force these users to disclose their identity and increase a risk of harm to their personal safety.

Furthermore, users without ID, or users who are reliant on ID from family members, would experience a serious restriction of their online experience, freedom of expression and rights. Research from the Electoral Commission suggests that there are 3.5 million people in the UK who do not currently have access to a valid photo ID.

The online safety regulatory framework will have significant measures in place to tackle illegal and legal but harmful anonymous abuse. Services which host user-generated content or allow people to talk to others online will need to remove and limit the spread of illegal content, including criminal anonymous abuse. Major platforms will also need to set out clearly what legal anonymous content is acceptable on their platform and stick to it. The government will set out priority categories of legal but harmful material in secondary legislation.

Users will also be better able to report harmful content, and expect to receive an appropriate response from the company. This may include, for example, the removal of harmful content, or sanctions against offending users. Compliance with the online safety framework will be enforced by Ofcom, who will have a suite of powers to use against companies who fail to fulfil the duty of care. These include fines on companies - of up to £18m or 10% of annual global turnover - and business disruption measures. The Online Safety Bill, which will give effect to the regulatory framework outlined in the full government response, will be ready this year.

Protecting children is at the heart of our plans to transform the online experience for people in the UK and the strongest protections in this framework will be for children. All companies in scope will be required to assess whether children are likely to access their services, and if so, provide additional protections for them. They will be required to assess the nature and level of risk of their service specifically for children, identify and implement proportionate mitigations to protect children, and monitor these for effectiveness. We expect companies to use age assurance or age verification technologies to prevent children from accessing services which pose the highest risk of harm and to provide children with an age appropriate experience when using their service.

The police already have a range of legal powers to identify individuals who attempt to use anonymity to escape sanctions for online harms, where the activity is illegal. The government is also working with law enforcement to review whether the current powers are sufficient to tackle illegal anonymous abuse online. The outcome of that work will inform the government’s future position in relation to illegal anonymous online abuse.

The Government has also asked the Law Commission to review existing legislation on abusive and harmful communications. The Law Commission has consulted on proposed reforms and a final report is expected in the summer. We will carefully consider using the online harms legislation to bring the Law Commission’s final recommendations into law, where it is necessary and appropriate to do so.

Anonymity underpins people’s fundamental right to express themselves and access information online in a liberal democracy. Introducing a new legal requirement for user verification on social media would unfairly restrict this right and force vulnerable users to disclose their identity. The Online Safety legislation will address harmful anonymised activities online and introduce robust measures to improve the safety of all users online.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/575833


Constituency Data

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