Matt Hancock: Big Tech not too big to regulate
LONDON — The U.K. should not shy away from regulating technology firms, the digital secretary of state said today.
Speaking at a POLITICO event, Matt Hancock said current problems involving social media platforms could have been avoided if there were a legislative framework in place.
“There was an attitude that pervaded for a generation that these companies are global, so you cant regulate them — not true. That the technology changes so fast you cant regulate — not true. That people dont really understand it, and therefore cant regulate it — also not true,” he said.
He said that although the best approach to regulating platforms is through global or international frameworks, the U.K. should be ready to legislate on their own.
“If the U.K. as a society, represented legitimately through parliament, and from the parliament in government, wants to do something, that is what we do. It is called democracy,” he said.
He highlighted work legislating to create a “duty of care” for online platforms, and said platforms can no longer use the excuse that technology doesnt exist to monitor things such as minimum age limits, or abusive content.
“If we want the technology to exist, we can ask for it,” he said, citing how he has incorporated an artificial intelligence solution developed by Google to monitor abusive content on his app.
Technology firms should also see the benefits, he said, and rules should be written in partnership with industry that will benefit from having some “rules of the road.”