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Internet: Safety

Question for Home Office

UIN 2286, tabled on 17 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps a company is obliged to take to get (a) existing and (b) new technology accredited status in the context of clause 66 in the Online Safety Bill.

Answered on

25 May 2021

Under the Online Safety Bill, OFCOM will be able to require companies to use technology to identify terrorism content or child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) content, provided certain conditions are met. This important power will enable OFCOM to require companies to use technology to take effective action to keep users safe from these most serious harms.

This technology must be accredited (by OFCOM or another person appointed by OFCOM) as meeting the minimum standards of accuracy as approved by the Secretary of State, following advice from OFCOM. We are currently working with OFCOM to design the processes for identifying and approving minimum standards of accuracy and for accrediting technologies which meet those standards of accuracy.

It is worth noting minimum standards of accuracy and a requirement to use accredited technology will apply only when OFCOM issues a notice under the specific powers in the Online Safety Bill which requires a company to use technology to identify and remove CSEA or terrorism content. They will not apply to technology which companies use to identify and remove harmful content voluntarily.

Answered by

Home Office