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Airmic regularly carries out research, and publishes the results in the form of reports, guides and benchmarking documents.

Online harms

The context and purpose of this paper

Airmic 8th October 2019


The world is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Businesses must move faster, drive innovation, and adapt to and shape their changing environment. The pressure to manage and report risks has never been greater. Consequently, boards and business leaders operate in an increasingly unforgiving environment and need a defined approach and the support of professionals fit to help them fulfil their risk oversight responsibilities. Companies that can depend on their boards to deliver this oversight across the spectrum of risks have an advantage. Whilst, at face value, practices for managing risk might seem unaffected by this context, the underlying business dynamics of today are so different from those of the past, they trigger the need for recalibrating risk management and rebalancing the effort between managing traditional risks and emerging risks.   

The Online Harms White Paper consultation published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport sets out the UK Government’s plans for a world-leading package of online safety measures that also supports innovation and a thriving digital economy. This package comprises legislative and non-legislative measures, and is intended to make companies more responsible for their users’ safety online, especially children and other vulnerable groups. The White Paper proposes establishing in law a new duty of care towards users, which will be overseen by an independent regulator. Companies will be held to account for tackling a comprehensive set of “online harms”, ranging from illegal activity and content to behaviours that are harmful but not necessarily illegal.

The purpose of this Airmic paper drafted with law firm BLM, is to provide information about the Government’s intent for this regulation, Airmic’s response to the Government consultation, to outline the next steps in the consultation process and to inform the risk professional when engaging and collaborating on this subject with their governance, information and technology peers.

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