Online Harms - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:55 pm on 8th April 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 5:55 pm, 8th April 2019

Obviously, there are details that need to be ironed out, and that is partly what the consultation is about. I expect there to be a lot of detail, which we will go over when a Bill finally comes to this House. In the past we have dealt with things like the Data Protection Act and have shown that we can do that well. The list in the White Paper of legal harms and everyday harms, as the noble Baroness calls them, is indicative. I completely agree with her that the White Paper is attempting to drive good behaviour. The difference it will make is that companies cannot now say, “It’s not my problem”. If we incorporate this safety by design, they will have to do that, because they will have a duty of care right from the word go. They cannot say, “It’s not my responsibility”, because we have given them the responsibility, and if they do not exercise it there will be serious consequences.