Following the Queen’s speech last week, the UK Government has published the Online Safety Bill (the “Bill”), draft legislation aimed at tackling a range of ‘online harms’.
The Bill includes the imposition of a duty of care on tech players, such as social media platforms, under which they would be required to take down “illegal” or “harmful” content or risk being fined up to 10% of their global turnover or £18 million. It proposes that Ofcom be appointed to oversee the regulatory regime it imposes, adding to the Communications Regulator’s range of responsibilities.
Reception to the Bill has been mixed, with one commentator indicating that an opportunity to create a “pioneering piece of legislation” has been “fudged” (see here [paywall]).
The Bill will now be scrutinised by a committee of MPs before it enters the parliamentary process to become law.
Please contact any member of our telecommunications team if you have questions regarding the Bill.