Jan 17 – In the UK, lawmakers are vying to make the country the safest place for children to learn, grow and flourish online. At present, a number of lawmakers contend that the only way to guarantee a safe online future for children is by holding tech leaders fully accountable.
In so doing, lawmakers have developed an Online Safety Bill that promises steep fines and jail time for executives found to be ‘deliberately’ exposing children to harmful content.
Exactitudes of accountability
According to reports, the bill would make tech executives responsible for user-generated content if they fail to take “proportionate measures” to prevent children from seeing, hearing or otherwise taking in inappropriate materials, as defined in the legislation.
Tech companies can start addressing the issue of children’s exposure to harmful content by equipping sites with parental controls, adding age verification, and by policing content.
Online Safety Bill
The Online Safety Bill is now due for review by the UK’s House of Lords, where the BBC says that it will endure a “lengthy journey.”
UK Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan stated that the amendment will prevent senior managers at tech companies from willfully ignoring the issues of child physical and psychological safety, delivering “…change and ensure[ing] that people are held to account if they fail to properly protect children.”
“The onus for keeping young people safe online will sit squarely on tech companies’ shoulders,” she wrote.
Executives around the world are closely monitoring updates to the Online Safety Bill.
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