Bishop of Chelmsford asks Government about internet safety

On Monday 3rd December 2018 Baroness Benjamin asked Her Majesty’s Government “what financial and other resources will be available to the UK Council for Internet Safety.” The Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, asked a follow-up question:

The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford: My Lords, may I extend this question a little further? This is such an important issue and our generation will be judged on it as the internet and digital age takes over. Noble Lords will know those clever algorithms that are so good at selling us things—if we buy one thing they will try to sell us something else. Those could be turned towards the interests of internet safety by advancing something called safety by design. What consideration are the Government giving to much more forward-thinking legislation not just to support bodies such as the Council for Internet Safety, but to introduce measures to make our inhabiting of the digital world safer and more creative?

Lord Ashton of Hyde: Yes, the right reverend Prelate makes a good point. That is why the Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper set out the need for the industry to think safety first by designing products and platforms in a way that makes them less likely to cause harm. We need to make that as simple as possible for the industry and we need to be aware of the impact on SMEs and growing companies. The White Paper will address this issue further and will, for example, examine the case for a set of safety-by-design guidelines for the industry. It will also set out the Government’s approach to the use of safety technology.


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