30 January 2018

The Digital Charter (PDF) was first introduced in the Conservative party’s election manifesto last year, where it was described as necessary for the UK to once again “create the rules-based framework in which the new technologies can create prosperity and growth”.

It is widely anticipated that the Digital Charter’s ‘rolling programme of work’ will be underpinned by the establishment of a regulatory framework for the tech sector.

In a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Theresa May described the output of the Digital Charter as bringing “regulation that will make the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business – but also the safest place to be online.” Accordingly, the Digital Charter is to balance these two broad and potentially conflicting objectives.

Government priorities for the Digital Charter

The government is looking to involve the tech sector, businesses and wider civil society in order to deliver the Digital Charter’s priorities, which include:

  • the legal liabilities of online platforms
  • protecting people from harmful online content and behaviour
  • cyber-security
  • disinformation
  • digital-markets.

Work is already underway through the Data Protection Bill, Internet Safety Strategy and pressure to establish an international industry-led forum to address terrorist use of the internet.

What happens next?

It is evident from the government’s announcement that making digital companies and social media platforms more accountable is a priority. Stakeholders should be alert to any developments under the Digital Charter, which may include updates to laws and regulations.

For more information, please contact Andrew Dunlop or Lucy Pegler.

Key contact

Andrew Dunlop

Andrew Dunlop Partner

  • Head of Outsourcing
  • Head of Technology
  • Head of Data Protection

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