Online Harms White Paper

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:31 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Wright Jeremy Wright The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 5:31 pm, 8th April 2019

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. He is right that we should be particularly concerned with the most vulnerable in our society—especially children. The way we envisage the duty of care operating is that online companies should do all they reasonably can to keep their users safe. The greater the user’s vulnerability, the more care they should take to do so. It follows that, in relation to children who may be using those services—of course, this will apply particularly to services that are attractive to children—there will be a greater onus on those responsible to act. We want to see a regulator pay close attention to what has been done—proactively, not simply reactively—to ensure that that harm can be avoided, whether by the use of algorithms or by other methods. The onus will be very clearly on those who provide the service to satisfy the regulator that they are doing all they can. If they are not, the consequences I described earlier can follow.