We contribute to UK Online Safety Bill Call for Evidence

On 8 June 2022, we contribute to the UK Government's Call for Evidence to the revised Online Safety Bill (see the full bill).

Generally speaking, we welcome the considerations urged by the Online Safety Bill committee and we are excited about the potential impact that the Bill could bring to the current online experiences of the users, particularly children. However, we do think the Bill could include more considerations regarding the requirements for service transparency and support for users’ autonomy.

We recognise that at this stage it may not be possible to introduce fundamental changes to the Bill. Thus, we made some specific suggestions, which we thought it’s critical to strengthen the requirements for more transparency and more support for users’ agency. Specifically, we suggested:

  • Section 10 (6) - children's risk assessment in their interaction with a user-to-user service: we would like to suggest 1) a more precise wording regarding the impact of the services on children’s online digital experiences, and 2) a request for mandating more transparency of these services as part of the duty of the services.
  • Section 31(3) – Children’s access assessments: we would like to encourage the government to consider adding an additional mandate to require the service providers to supply evidence to support that their service does not “attract a significant number of users who are children” to strengthen protection of children and transparency of the services.

  • Section 26 (4) Safety duties protecting children: we would like to encourage the government to further strengthen the requirements for services to be more transparent, more appropriate for children, and put more consideration into children’s autonomy online their vulnerability.

Our full submission can be found on our website (see full submission; evidence for the bill)