#childsafety | Government Publishes New Guidance For Tech Companies To Protect People Online – Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment



UK:

Government Publishes New Guidance For Tech Companies To Protect People Online


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The Government has published two collections of guidance to help
tech companies better protect users online: (i) safety by design
guidance, entitled “Online safety guidance if you own or
manage an online platform”; and (ii) “A business guide
for protecting children on your online platform”, which is a
“one-stop shop” for businesses on child online
safety.

The safety by design collection of guidance is particularly for
start-ups and advises on safe platform design to protect users from
online harms and prepare the business or organisation for future
legislation.

The guidance advocates putting safety at the heart of platform
design to minimise the risk of online harm occurring. It advises
companies about providing an age-appropriate experience for
children using tools such as age assurance and age verification
methods. This includes encouraging adults to set services’
safety measures to high by default so they cannot be changed by
children, recommending that firms make it easier for users to
report harmful content or behaviour, and for companies to block
high-risk search terms, for example around illegal terrorist
content.

The “one stop shop” child safety collection of
guidance is to help companies implement crucial safety measures for
children users ahead of the Government’s forthcoming Online
Safety Bill. Under the Bill tech firms will be required to assess
the risks posed to people using their services and provide safer
environments for users. The guidance is targeted at companies whose
online platforms are used by children, such as social media or
gaming platforms.

The guidance includes advice on how to protect children’s
personal data, address abuse and encourage positive behaviour
online, and how to tackle child sexual exploitation and abuse. It
also recommends applying and actively enforcing minimum age limits
and reporting child sexual exploitation and abuse. To read the
Government’s press release in full and for links to the
collections, click here.

Originally published 5 June 2021

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.

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