- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
Ahead of the G7 Leaders Summit in Cornwall in mid-June, leaders from the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United States and European Union have signed a joint ministerial declaration on online safety at a virtual meeting hosted by UK Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden.
He said: “As a coalition of the world’s leading democracies and technological powers, we want to forge a compelling vision of how tech should support and enhance open and democratic societies in the digital age. Together we have agreed a number of priorities in areas ranging from internet safety to digital competition to make sure the digital revolution is a democratic one that enhances global prosperity for all.”
The states have agreed to commit to protecting human rights online and agree that tech companies have a corporate responsibility for their users’ safety. This means they should have systems and processes in place to reduce illegal and harmful activity and prioritise the protection of children. The G7 discussed the importance of promoting security and resilience in critical digital infrastructure, in particular in telecoms.
The UK is due to bring in an ‘online harms’ law, with the telecoms regulator Ofcom as the regulator with the power to fine companies.
At the consumer campaign group Which?, Rocio Concha, Director of Advocacy, said: “For years we have exposed the lack of protections for consumers online, from the sale of unsafe products to misleading information – so this agreement is a very positive step. International cooperation is vital if we are to tackle the global challenges of harmful content online and the dominance of a few tech giants posing a risk for digital markets to function well for consumers worldwide.
“It’s good to see the UK Government playing a leading role and using its presidency of the G7 to protect citizens online and upgrade consumer protections for the digital age. To achieve this, online platforms must be given a legal responsibility to identify, prevent and remove unsafe and misleading content on their sites and competition authorities need to have the right powers to promote competition in digital markets.”