Internet: Safety

Home Office written question – answered on 29th April 2020.

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Photo of Conor McGinn Conor McGinn Shadow Minister (Home Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish her Department’s list of identified online harms and the groups at risk from each of them.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire The Minister of State, Home Department

I take the problem of online harms very seriously and am clear that while companies have taken some positive steps, more needs to be done to tackle online harms.

The Government committed to introducing new online harms legislation in the Queen's speech on 19th December. The legislation will build on proposals in last year’s Online Harms White Paper and will establish a new duty of care on companies towards their users, overseen by an independent regulator.

The White Paper did provide an indicative list of harms. However, that list was neither exhaustive nor fixed. Online harms legislation will need to be sufficiently flexible, so that it is responsive to emerging forms of harmful content and behaviour as well as new technologies, while at the same time providing sufficient certainty to companies.

We are working with stakeholders to ensure that legislation and the process for defining harms in scope of legislation meets the dual needs of flexibility and certainty. Further information on this will be provided in the full government response to the White Paper consultation.

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