The Online Safety Bill was introduced last March. This bill was prepared with the intent for companies to evaluate the risk of their customers encountering illegal content and materials that could threaten children.
The bill specifically focuses on the safety standards and assessment of content to which children might be exposed. In a statement made by the government, it was highlighted that they expect companies to strike a balance between freedom and security online, while also developing strategies to minimize potential risks.
”The metaverse is in scope of the bill, which, as noble Lords know, has been designed to be technology neutral and future-proofed to ensure that it keeps pace with emerging technologies.”Lord Stephen Parkinson.
The bill has passed parliamentary approval, but to gain full authority, it requires the approval of King Charles.
Apple Opposed the Online Safety Bill
Apple objected to the Online Safety Bill over concerns that end-to-end encrypted messaging applications like iMessage, WhatsApp, and Signal could be accessed by the UK government.
In a statement on the matter, WhatsApp clarified that they will not change their security procedures for any government. Signal, on the other hand, refused to remove end-to-end encryption and announced that it would cease its services in the UK if the bill was passed.