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October 21, 2019
TIGA has responded to the Written Statement to the House of Commons published by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (see item above).
TIGA noted that the statement concerned the recent publication of the Online Harms White Paper, which proposes establishing in law a new duty of care towards users, which will be overseen by an independent regulator.
TIGA also noted the Government’s confirmation that it will follow the proposals set out in the Online Harms White Paper and will not be commencing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act 2017 concerning age verification regulations, choosing instead to deliver the objectives through its proposed online harms regulatory regime.
TIGA’s CEO, Dr Richard Wilson OBE, said that TIGA “supports the Government’s plan to establish a new statutory ‘duty of care’ to make companies take more responsibility for the safety of their users”. It will also support the “intention for an independent regulator to oversee this duty of care, issue codes of practice and to enforce compliance”.
Dr Wilson also said that it “strongly supports the Government’s intention that the regulator will take a proportionate approach to regulating. It is expected that a proportionate approach will be enshrined in legislation by making it clear that companies must do what is ‘reasonably practicable’”.
Dr Wilson added that TIGA also “welcomes the Government’s intention that the regulator will have a duty of innovation; make compliance straightforward; use technology; and minimise compliance costs”. Dr Wilson noted that the UK’s video games development and digital publishing sector “overwhelmingly consists of SMEs, with 66 per cent employing four or fewer people”. It is critically important, he said, that “the new regulatory framework protects online users whilst ensuring that the UK is the best place to start and grow a digital business”. To read TIGA’s statement in full, click here.