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Economy Economy

Develop a digital charter

Last updated: 10:53am 1 November 2019

A Conservative government will develop a digital charter, working with industry and charities to establish a new framework that balances freedom with protection for users, and offers opportunities alongside obligations for businesses and platforms. This charter has two fundamental aims: that we will make Britain the best place to start and run a digital business; and that we will make Britain the safest place in the world to be online.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.77

Our verdict

According to OECD data, in 2017 the UK was the sixth larger exporter of ICT services in the world, with higher than average internet usage for business and education. This policy promises to create a charter to encourage digital business and to protect people online.

In January 2018, the government announced the publication of its Digital Charter , “a rolling programme of work to agree norms and rules for the online world and put them into practice”. The charter lists six guiding principles:

  • the internet should be free, open and accessible
  • people should understand the rules that apply to them when they are online
  • personal data should be respected and used appropriately
  • protections should be in place to help keep people safe online, especially children
  • the same rights that people have offline must be protected online
  • the social and economic benefits brought by new technologies should be fairly shared

It goes on to outline work already undertaken and in progress, committing to further efforts to achieve its three primary goals:

  • For the UK to be the safest place in the world to be online
  • To ensure that technology works for society as a whole
  • To promote fair and efficient digital markets

The government has developed a new digital charter to encourage online business, regulate the digital economy and improve cyber security. As a result, this policy is ‘done’.

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