Westminster eForum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Next steps for protecting children online

Morning, Tuesday, 29th June 2021


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will consider what more is required from policymakers, regulators and industry to protect children online and tackle online harms.


We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, DCMS; and a senior representative confirmed from Ofcom.


The conference takes place against the backdrop of a range of significant policy developments, including:

  • the Online Harms White Paper - with plans for an Online Safety Bill, a duty of care and further accountability and oversight of tech companies, and an online media literacy strategy
  • Ofcom being named in the White Paper as the regulator for online harms, and due to be publishing initial thinking on their approach this year
  • the ICO’s Age Appropriate Design Code - aimed at protecting children within the digital world and ensuring online products and services they can access are designed with data protection safeguards

Discussion will focus on:

  • taking forward the Online Harms White Paper and the Age Appropriate Design Code
  • the impact of the pandemic on children’s use of online resources
  • online safety in schools and during remote learning
  • the evolving role of platforms
  • media literacy, ensuring the safety of internet connected devices, and innovation in identifying and removing harmful content

The agenda:

  • Protecting children online - key issues, emerging trends and the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown
  • Online safety in schools and during remote learning - latest developments and best practice
  • Tackling exposure to harmful content online - content regulation, industry responsibility, age verification, and supporting children and their households
  • Protecting children and tackling online harm - the view from the online harms regulator
  • Tackling child exploitation and ensuring safety online
  • Taking forward the Age Appropriate Design Code
  • Media literacy, ensuring the safety of internet connected devices, and innovation in identifying and removing harmful content
  • Policy priorities for reducing online harms and supporting child online safety

Areas for discussion:

  • protecting children online - key issues, emerging trends and the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown
  • online safety in schools - and during remote learning:
    • exploring the latest developments and best practice
    • how schools have adapted to safely meet government expectations, outlined in Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak  on remote education to be provided during the pandemic
  • the Online Harms White Paper - stakeholder perspectives, and priorities for tackling exposure to harmful content online, including discussion on:
    • tackling online harm - the impact of strategies and action taken so far by online platforms and social media companies
    • impact on the sector  - what plans for a new statutory and enforceable duty of care, aimed at making companies take more responsibility for the safety of their users, mean for platforms and social media providers
    • greater measures - the potential role of further content regulation, age verification and assurance measures and whether more support is needed for industry compliance and effective enforcement
    • safety at home - priorities for households to keep children safe online, and the impact of children spending a large amount of time online and alone in their room as a result of the pandemic
  • the online harms regulator - assessing its future role, and developments in content and platform regulation
  • ensuring safety online - developments in tackling child exploitation, and innovation in the identification and removal of harmful material
  • the ICO’s Age Appropriate Design Code - taking this forward, with the transition period for compliance coming to a close in September 2021, and priorities for ensuring that safeguards are in place for any online products and services which could be accessed by children
  • media literacy and safe internet-connected devices - ensuring the safety of connected devices, and improving people’s knowledge of technology, with the Government aiming to develop a new online media literacy strategy this year, those in attendance will discuss:
    • what shape any future strategy should take, and how its success should be measured
    • the effectiveness of current countermeasures to tackle misinformation aimed at children and young people online
    • what more can be done to effectively engage with children, carers and guardians around the delivery of future media literacy strategies
    • the role of technology in dealing with new and emerging threats
    • whether more is needed to ensure the safety of internet-connected devices and build upon the requirements set out in the ICO’s Age Appropriate Design Code
  • policy priorities - for reducing online harms and supporting child online safety

Background to the discussion:

  • the Online Harms White Paper - recently published, which includes:
    • government commitments to publishing an Online Safety Bill
    • plans to improve accountability and oversight for tech companies, as well as for a new duty of care, with the aim of protecting children and vulnerable people online
    • Ofcom being named the regulator for online harms, and committing to publishing initial thinking on their approach this year
    • a commitment to publish an online media literacy strategy aimed at supporting users to think critically about information online, and to feel more confident in managing their privacy online
  • the ICO’s Age Appropriate Design Code - which came into effect in September 2020, with an initial 12 month transition period, aimed at:
    • protecting children within the digital world
    • and ensuring online products and services that could be accessed by children incorporate data protection safeguards into their design
  • The Internet of Toys Assurance Scheme - with a panel chaired by Baroness Floella Benjamin, set up with aims to improve the security of smart devices and give parents, carers and guardians more confidence in internet-connected toys
  • Ofcom’s Children’s Media Lives: COVID-19 specific findings - which found that children were not doing as much schoolwork when working remotely, with some lacking structure and routine and spending a large amount of time online, and alone in their room
  • the rise of self-generated indecent images of children online - issues raised in the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Media inquiry
  • guidance aimed at supporting children and their households to keep children safe online during the pandemic

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the APPG for Children's Media and the Arts, and officials from the DCMS; the Department for International Trade; the Government Legal Department; the Home Office and the Welsh Government.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as representatives from social media companies and digital platforms, representatives from children’s charities, schools, local authorities, online advertising companies and their suppliers, other industry representatives from across the technology and digital sectors, lawyers and consultants with an interest in these topics, organisations and individuals representing the views of children and families, and academics and reporters from the national and trade media.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conferenc



Keynote Speaker

Caroline Dinenage MP

Minister of State for Digital and Culture, DCMS

Keynote Speakers

Caroline Allams

Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Natterhub

Will Gardner

CEO, Childnet International

Carolyn Bunting

CEO, Internet Matters

Senior speaker confirmed from Ofcom

Caroline Dinenage MP

Minister of State for Digital and Culture, DCMS

Emily Keaney

Director, Domestic Regulatory Strategy, Information Commissioner’s Office

Chair

Lord Clement-Jones

Chair, House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence

Speakers

Iain Corby

Executive Director, Age Verification Providers Association

Sophie Linington

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, The Parent Zone

Nancy Hine

Policy Lead, Digital Regulation, Sky

Alexandra Evans

Head of Child Safety Public Policy, Europe, TikTok

Rudd Apsey

Director, Digital Policy Alliance

Richard Pursey

Executive Chairman, SafeToNet

Professor Sonia Livingstone

Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science; Director, Digital Futures Commission and Global Kids Online Project (UNICEF), and Founder, EU Kids Online