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NCC Group welcomes UK government’s Online Harms whitepaper

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NCC Group welcomes UK government’s Online Harms whitepaper

The UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published its long-awaited Online Harms whitepaper today, which outlines the government’s proposed measures to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

The proposals include a new statutory duty of care for social media and technology companies to their users, enforced by an independent regulator. The whitepaper also outlines new direction for organisations on terrorist activity, child sexual exploitation and other specific issues, and a new “Safety by Design” framework to help companies build online safety features into new apps and platforms from the outset.

Commenting on the news, Ollie Whitehouse, global chief technical officer at NCC Group, said: “We welcome the proposed measures to protect users from online harms. By appointing an independent regulator, the government has struck the right balance between enforcing a duty of care that may not otherwise have been adopted, and enabling regulation to respond and keep pace with the constantly evolving online environment.

“From our perspective, the UK will only become the safest place in the world to be online when regulations are underpinned by a strategic educational programme that empowers people to make good decisions online. As such, we would encourage the government to ensure that its pledge to include online safety education in school curricula from 2020 does not happen in isolation.

“We believe that online safety awareness should serve as a natural first step to engaging young people with careers in cyber security. By not only teaching children to recognise the dangers of the internet, but also giving them the tools to go and fight those dangers, the UK has a clear opportunity to drive the next generation of cyber talent, and strengthen the nation’s overall cyber resilience.”

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