Online Safety Bill becomes law

The Online Safety Bill received Royal Assent yesterday 26 October. The law, to be enforced by Ofcom, will have a phased entry into force. If social media platforms do not comply with the law, Ofcom can fine them up to £18 million or 10% of their global annual revenue, whichever is higher.

Dame Melanie Dawes, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “These new laws give Ofcom the power to start making a difference in creating a safer life online for children and adults in the UK. We’ve already trained and hired expert teams with experience across the online sector, and today we’re setting out a clear timeline for holding tech firms to account.”

During its passage, the bill was criticised on the grounds that its robust safety duties outweigh privacy considerations.

PL&B UK Report, November 2023, includes an analysis of the Online Safety Act by law firm Slaughter and May.

See: GOV.UK - UK children and adults to be safer online as world-leading bill becomes law