Internet: Safety

(asked on 22nd April 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their proposed statutory duty of care to tackle online harms will address harms to public health; and when the full response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation will be published.

Answered by
Baroness Barran Portrait
Baroness Barran
This question was answered on 12th May 2020

The Government published the initial response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation on 12 February 2020. This confirmed that the Government is developing legislation on online harms to establish a new duty of care on online companies towards their users, overseen by an independent regulator. The duty of care will require companies to put appropriate systems and processes in place to deal with harmful content on their services to keep their users safe.

The White Paper provided an indicative list of online harms that in-scope companies would be expected to address. That list was not exhaustive or fixed. Online harms legislation will need to be sufficiently flexible, so that it is responsive to emerging technologies and forms of harmful content and behaviour, while at the same time providing sufficient certainty to companies. The White Paper also excluded some types of harm from scope, including harm to companies and harm arising from a breach of data protection legislation or cyber-security.

Further information on the duty of care will be provided in the Full Government Response to the White Paper consultation, which will be published later this year.

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