Regulating the interwebs

The House of Lords, in its 9 March report Regulating in a digital world concludes that “the digital world does not merely require more regulation but a different approach to regulation.” It proposes “an agreed set of 10 principles that shape and frame all regulation of the internet, and a new Digital Authority to oversee this regulation with access to the highest level of the Government to facilitate the urgent change that is needed.”

A useful set of initial thoughts is offered by UK Civil Servant with links to a number of sources.

Broadly supported in the report is a statutory “social media duty of care” proposed by Perrin and Woods; which was at the time critiqued by Graham Smith who has now proposed a Rule of Law test for such a duty.

Meanwhile, the EU is introducing new rules offering businesses “a more transparent, fair and predictable online platform environment, as well as an efficient system for seeking redress.” Online intermediation services, such as ecommerce market places, search engines, app stores, social media and price comparison sites will be required to implement a set of measures to ensure that their contractual relations with online businesses are transparent.

This Regulation will apply to UK platforms in relation to trade with the EU, so whatever the Brexit outcome, UK-based platforms cannot ignore it.