HomeInsightsInformation Commissioner publishes statement on the Government’s initial response to its Online Harms White Paper consultation

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Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, said that the Government’s initial response (see item above) was “an important step forward in addressing people’s growing mistrust of social media and online services”.

Ms Denham noted that digital services “enrich our lives”, but that “we’re also recognising the harm they can inflict”. “The scales are falling from our eyes”, she said, as we “begin to question who has control over what we see and how our personal data is used”.

Ms Denham said that this was “an opportunity for people to regain control” and that the ICO will be continuing to close work with Ofcom and others in the UK and around the world.

Ms Denham called the debate over online harms “critical” and said that the ICO will continue to use its powers, provided under data protection law to “act decisively where people’s information is misused online”. The ICO will “continue to hold organisations accountable to the people whose data they use”.

In conclusion, Ms Denham said: “We welcome government’s acknowledgment of our work to protect children online through our Age Appropriate Design Code, which will be a concrete step towards protecting children’s privacy online.” To read Ms Denham’s statement in full, click here.