Online Safety

On February 16, 2024, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) introduced specific guidance on content moderation and data protection. The guidance complements the Online Safety Act (OSA)—the UK’s legislation designed to ensure digital platforms mitigate illegal and harmful content.  The ICO underlines that if an organisation carries out content moderation that involves personal information, “[it] must comply with data protection law.” The guidance highlights particular elements of data protection compliance that organisations should keep in mind, including in relation to establishing a legal basis and being transparent when moderating content, and complying with rules on automated decision-making. We summarize the key points below.Continue Reading ICO Releases Guidance on Content Moderation and Data Protection

On 26 October 2023, the UK’s Online Safety Bill received Royal Assent, becoming the Online Safety Act (“OSA”).  The OSA imposes various obligations on tech companies to prevent the uploading of, and rapidly remove, illegal user content—such as terrorist content, revenge pornography, and child sexual exploitation material—from their services, and also to take steps to reduce the risk that users will encounter such material (please see our previous blog post on the Online Safety Bill).Continue Reading UK Online Safety Bill Receives Royal Assent

On 9 October 2023, the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) and Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) agreed revised wording to amend the European Commission’s (the “EC”) proposed new Product Liability Directive (the “Directive”). The vote was passed with 33 votes in favour to 2 against. If adopted, the Directive will replace the existing (almost 40-year old) Directive 85/374/EEC on Liability for Defective Products, which imposes a form of strict liability on product manufacturers for harm caused by their defective products.Continue Reading EU Legislative Update on the New Product Liability Directive

On September 19, 2023, the UK’s Online Safety Bill (“OSB”) passed the final stages of Parliamentary debate, and will shortly become law. The OSB, which requires online service providers to moderate their services for illegal and harmful content, has been intensely debated since it was first announced in 2020, particularly around the types of online harms within scope and how tech companies should respond to them. The final version is lengthy and complex, and will likely be the subject of continued debate over compliance, enforcement, and whether it succeeds in making the internet safer, while also protecting freedom of expression and privacy.Continue Reading UK Online Safety Bill Passes Parliament

On July 18, 2023, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment (“UKIE”), the trade body for the UK video games industry, published new industry principles and guidance surrounding paid loot boxes (the “Principles”) for application in the UK.

The Principles were recommended by the Technical Working Group on Loot Boxes (“TWG”), a panel of games companies, platforms, government departments and regulatory bodies, which was convened by the UK Government in order to mitigate the risk of harms for children as a result of loot boxes in video games.  Each member of the TWG has committed to comply with the Principles moving forward.Continue Reading UKIE Publishes Industry Principles on Paid Loot Boxes