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Online Safety

Online Safety: Navigating compliance in a changing regulatory landscape

Online platforms are under scrutiny like never before, with a wave of new laws and regulations coming into force across the globe. Online safety is one of the newest frontiers in the trend towards greater regulation of online content. This stems from the realisation in recent years that content on the internet can cause real harm and that the challenge is global. Posts promoting extremism have been linked to acts of terror, campaigns of disinformation and “fake news” have dogged democratic elections and charities and governments have drawn attention to the horrifying volume of child sexual abuse imagery circulated online.

A consensus has emerged between governments, societies and many of the major platforms that more needs to be done to combat online harms. Many governments across the globe are looking to replace the current patchwork of discrete laws and voluntary initiatives with more holistic regulation. The challenge for regulators is to perform a regulatory balancing act: protecting against harm while upholding fundamental human rights. 
Many types of online businesses will be affected by these new laws: social media platforms, search engines, video-sharing sites, messaging applications and far more. Rarely does an online safety issue arise in a vacuum: often, there are other angles to consider including data privacy, competition law and the criminal law.

Our online safety team can help you navigate this new regulatory frontier. We can draw upon experts across Linklaters’ international network from a range of practice areas to provide you with the input you need: looking to deploy the insights we have gleaned from similar regulatory regimes and our industry experience to provide you with pragmatic and clear advice. We have helped clients with the full range of issues arising from online content: from advice on how to comply with the new laws and regulations to helping our clients respond to reputationally significant litigation and disputes arising from online content; from advising on interactions with regulators and Governments to responding to investigations and enforcement action. 

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