18 OCT 2018
Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about the NSPCC parliamentary reception on the 28th of November, I will endeavour to pop by.
I share your concerns about the online safety of children and young people and I hope the following information on this topic from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is reassuring:
It is important that our approach to the internet supports freedom online, while protecting people, particularly children from harm. While the internet provides access to a world of new information and points of view, it also exposes young people to very real harms. That is why online safety is a top priority for the Government.
In 2013 the Government announced an agreement with the four major Internet Service Providers to offer internet filters to parents, enabling them to select what their children can and cannot view online. The Digital Economy Act also allows the BBFC regulator to direct Internet Service Providers to block pornographic sites that fail to comply with age verification rules.
The Government is also introducing a new requirement for the Information Commissioner's Office to produce a statutory code of practice on age-appropriate website design. This will set standards required of websites and app makers on privacy for children under the age of 16. It will also ensure that websites and apps make clear what personal data of children is being collected.
The Internet Safety Strategy sets out how the Government wants the UK to be the safest place to be online, with proposals aimed at cracking down on dangers like cyber-bullying, trolling, and under-age access to porn. For example, measures include: establishing a new social media code of practice to see a joined-up approach to remove or address bullying, intimidating or humiliating content online; as well as support for tech and digital start-ups to think safety first, ensuring that necessary safety features are built into apps and products from the very start. A White Paper will be published later this year to set out more detailed plans, including proposals for future legislation.
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