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Online-safety watchdogs aim for ‘coherence’
Online Safety Commissioner Niamh Hodnett at the Law Society Pic: Jason Clarke

27 May 2024 / data law Print

Online-safety watchdogs aim for ‘coherence’

Online-safety watchdogs from around the world – including Ireland’s Coimisiún na Meán – have set out their plans to work together to make regulation in the area “more coherent and co-ordinated”.

The Global Online Safety Regulators Network, which brings together 18 regulators and observers from five continents, published a statement on its plans after a meeting on Friday (24 May).

“While each of the countries in the network has its own domestic online-safety regime, neither the risks people face online, nor the online services they use, are confined to national or continental borders,” the group said.

‘Internet has no borders’

The organisation has identified opportunities to co-operate in areas that include:

  • Developing common ways of measuring for risk assessment and evaluation,
  • Sharing experience and evidence gained from complaints made by users,
  • Aiming to produce more comparable global data by co-ordinating the types of questions regulators ask of industry as part of their regulatory activities, and
  • Aiming to identify “a common set of reasonable steps services can take” to address specific harms and risk factors, by drawing on experiences of good practice.

Niamh Hodnett (Online Safety Commissioner for Coimisiún na Meán) described working with other regulators as “critical” for making online space safer for all users.

“Since the internet has no borders, our joint activities and workstreams with online safety regulators around the world enable us to share learnings and foster a coherent regulatory framework,” she concluded.

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