The Government published an impact assessment in May 2021 alongside the draft Online Safety Bill. The impact assessment considered the economic and social impacts of the draft Bill and included an assessment of impacts on freedom of expression, privacy and other wider societal impacts. The Government is currently working on a final stage impact assessment for the Online Safety Bill which will be published before the Bill is laid in Parliament.
The overall impact assessment includes considerations on the impact of harm on children where relevant and the strongest protections in the Bill will be for children. In-scope services which are likely to be accessed by children will need to conduct a child safety risk assessment and provide safety measures for child users. Services will need to keep risk assessments up-to-date and update them before making a significant change to the design or operation of their service. Ofcom will have a duty to issue guidance to assist providers in carrying out their risk assessments.