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 do not wish to damage the atmosphere of consensus that has helpfully emerged this afternoon, but I have to say that I think that the hon. Lady is completely wrong. What we have set out is exactly designed to deal with the problem that she has identified: that if we are reactive—if we chase harms that emerged some time ago and do not think about harms that are yet to emerge—we will indeed miss the point. However, that is exactly what a duty of care is designed to do. Those who are subject to a duty of care will be obliged not just to look at the harms that they already know about, but to scan the horizon. If they see a harm coming and choose to do nothing about it, they will be answerable for that failure. That is exactly one of the advantages of the duty of care model.