LORDS

Growing up with the internet report debate

03 November 2017

The House of Lords debates the Communications Committee report 'Growing up with the internet', published in March 2017. The report highlights that children are adopting recently innovated technology in their everyday lives before policy makers, schools or parents can consider the implications of such technology.

Speakers

The debate is being moved by Lord Best, former Chairman of the Communications Committee, and Lord Ashton of Hyde responds on behalf of the Government.

Among the speakers are:

Other Members of the House of Lords who are due to speak in the debate can be viewed in the Speakers' Lists.

Speaking ahead of the debate Lord Best said:

“Over the course of the inquiry we heard of a worrying rise in unhappy and anxious children emerging alongside the upward trend of childhood internet use.

“Whilst the Government should be congratulated on its new Internet Safety Strategy, if the tech industry - particularly the internet service providers like Google and Facebook - do not adopt and implement a robust Code of Practise, the Government must legislate to enforce this.

“Today I will call on the Government, civil society and all those in the internet value chain to work together to improve the opportunities and support where the end user is a child.”

Background

The report sets out a series of recommendations to the Government that will better enable to children to navigate the complex world of the internet, including:

  • Minimum standards should be established for child-friendly design, content control filtering, privacy, data collection, terms and conditions of use, and report and response mechanisms for all businesses operating on the internet, public bodies and the voluntary sector.
  • Digital literacy should sit alongside reading, writing and arithmetic as the fourth pillar of a child's education. Therefore, online responsibilities, social norms and risks should be part of mandatory, Ofsted-inspected Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education—in all schools whatever their status.
  • Irrespective of its membership of the EU, the UK should maintain legislation which incorporates the standards set by the General Data Protection Regulation in respect of children, including the right to be forgotten, as a minimum.

Karen Bradley MP, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, responded to the Committee’s report in October (PDF PDF 513 KB) and announced the launch of the Government’s Green Paper consultation for an Internet Safety Strategy at the same time.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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