Children’s Data | Online Harms

A selection of links related to the ICO Age Appropriate Design Code and / or the UK government Online Harms / Online Safety White Paper. Inclusion or omission is not a quality mark. It is rather a running list of useful references. Suggestions welcome.

[last updated Jan 11, 2022] recent changes marked with icon

Online harms parliamentary documents

  • Draft Bill and supporting documents
  • January 14, 2021, Online Harms Reduction Regulator (Report) Bill [HL] (HL Bill 22) [link to Bill drafting] [link to stages/details] Note this is not the government drafting of the Bill, but a Private Members’ Bill (Starting in the House of Lords).
  • December 15, 2020 Consultation outcome  Online Harms White Paper [link] Online Harms White Paper: Full government response to the consultation [archived copy]
  • February 12, 2020 Online Harms White Paper – Initial consultation government response [link]
  • February 11, 2020 DCMS press release: Government minded to appoint Ofcom as online harms regulator [link]

Online Harms parliamentary debate



  • Statement made on 12 May 2021 by Oliver Dowden [link] on the draft Bill Statement UIN HCWS12  and Statement UIN HLWS13  in the House of Lords delivered by Baroness Barran


Online Harms reference pages and documents

Online Safety Bill Responses incl. media


  • June 24, (Computer Weekly) Online Safety Bill unfit for purpose [link]
  • June 24 (City AM) David Davis: Online safety bill will be ‘catastrophic’ for freedom of speech [link]
  • June 23 (BBC) Online Safety Bill ‘catastrophic for free speech’ [link]
  • June 23 (The i) Ministers face revolt over Online Safety Bill [link]
  • June 22, (The Register) Campaigners warn of an ‘algorithm-driven censorship’ future if UK Online Safety Bill gets through Parliament  [link]
  • June 22 16, Cyberleagle Graham Smith, Harm Version 3.0: the draft Online Safety Bill [link]
  • June 22, 2021 Cyberleagle Graham Smith, Speech vs. Speech
  • June 15 (The House, Politics Home) The Online Safety Bill puts the security of all citizens and communities at risk [link]
  • May 12, 2021 (Sky News) Tech firms could face fines over harmful content in government’s new online safety bill [link]
  • May 12, 2021, [TechCrunch] UK publishes draft Online Safety Bill
  • May 12, 2021 (BBC) Government lays out plans to protect users online [link]
  • May 12, 2021 (The Guardian) Online safety bill ‘a recipe for censorship’, say campaigners [link]
  • May 5, 2021 (The Guardian) UK government faces action over lack of age checks on adult sites [link]
  • May 5, Open Rights Group, Online abuse: Why management liability isn’t the answer [link] by Heather Burns


  • July 4, Global Partners Digital [link]
  • July 3, Paul Bernal [link] Senior Lecturer in Information Technology, Intellectual Property and Media Law at the UEA Law School.
  • July 1, The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) [comment] and submission [link]
  • July 3, Parentzone [link]
  • July 2, Mozilla (Bennet, O.) Building on the UK white paper: How to better protect internet openness and individuals’ rights in the fight against online harms [link]
  •  July 2, ICO response [link]
  • July 1, defenddigitalme [link]
  • July 1, Communications Chambers, Bunting, M. [link]
  • July 1, TIGA (Game Developers’ Association) [link]
  • June 30, IA Internet Association [link]
  •  June 29, English PEN and Scottish PEN, [response link]
  •  June 28, Which? [link — scroll to top of consultations]
  • June 28, Cyberleagle, [Response]
  •  June 28, Dr. Victoria Baines [link]
  •  June 27, Open Rights Group, Blocking doesn’t work – we need a rights based approach instead [blog link]
  •  June 27, GDI, Global Disinformation is an Online Harm [link]
  •  June 29, EDiMA [link]
  •  June 26, End Violence Against Women [link]
  •  June 21, Woods,L., Perrin, W., Carnegie Trust [link]
  •  June 13, Press Recognition Panel [link]
  • June 4, CILIP (Digital Literacy) [link]
  • May 23, ORG policy responses to Online Harms WP [link]
  • April [undated] Opendium [blog link]

Online Harms reactions and media references

  • Webinar: The Online Harms Bill – more harm than good? 11KBW, Thursday May 20, 2021 10-11am [register here in advance]
  • December 17, 2020 Cyberleagle comment on the latest government update [ blog link]
  • December 17, 2020 The Irish News Ms Connolly told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Sub-committee on Online Harms and Disinformation. “Just to be crystal clear, anything that has user generated content is in scope, so they will not be exempted and if it is available in the UK, it is also in scope, so even if they’re based elsewhere.” [Link]
  • May 24, 2020 A Tale of Two Committees –the Home Affairs Committee and the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee – have recently held evidence sessions with government Ministers discussing the government’s proposed Online Harms legislation. [link] Graham Smith, CyberLeagle
  • February 11, 2020 An online harms compendium [link] Graham Smith, CyberLeagle
  • December 10, The Carnegie Statutory Duty of Care and Fundamental Freedoms, Professor Lorna Woods, Will Perrin,  Carnegie UK Trust.
  •  December 17, CarnegieUKTrust Draft Online Harms Bill [download.pdf]
  • Symposium: Online Harms White Paper Novemebr 2019
  • SESTA and the Teachings of Intermediary Liability, Keller.D (The center for Internet and Society) [2017] [link]
  • Keller, D. Build Your Own Intermediary Liability Law: A Kit for Policy Wonks of All Ages [June 2019] [link]
  • August 27, Eric Goldman [link] The U.K. Online Harms White Paper and the Internet’s Cable-ized Future (2019). Ohio State Tech. L.J., Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:
  • July 9, TechDirt, The UK’s Entire Approach To ‘Online Harms’ Is Backwards… And No One Cares [link]
  •  July 1, 2019, Index on Censorship multi signatory letter [link]
  • July 1, Article 19, UK: Online harms proposals are significant threat to free speech [link]
  • June 27, Misinformation, LSE blog  [link]
  • May 30, Online Nation report, Ofcom and the ICO [download– summary (PDF, 1.6 MB)
  • May 2, Is Matt Hancock planning online regulation by the back door? Heather Burns [link]
  • May 5, The Rule of Law and the Online Harms White Paper, CyberLeagle [blog link]
  • May 2, My own thoughts on the Online Harms White Paper (I) After the first Parliamentary discussion, Jen Persson [blog link]
  • May 2, Index on Censorship, Online harms and media freedom: UK response to Council of Europe lacks concrete details [blog]
  • May 2, CapX, Hewson, V., Online freedom is in peril [article]
  • April 29, The government’s attempts to regulate the internet – fit for purpose? Dr. E. Harbinja, Senior Lecturer in Media/Privacy Law, Aston University [blog link]
  • [undated] Samaritans, Samaritans calls for code of conduct and independent regulator to tackle harmful online content [blog link]
  • April 24, Online Harms White Paper – the obvious problem John Carr [blog link]
  • April 18, Users Behaving Badly – the Online Harms White Paper, CyberLeagle [blog link]
  • April 18, The Conversation, What the U.K.’s Online Harms white paper teaches us about internet regulation [article link]
  • April 18, The White Paper on Online Harms. Keep in mind the bigger picture – Damian Tambini [blog link]
  • April 10, Mozilla, What we think about the UK government’s ‘Online Harms’ white paper [blog link]
  • April 10, LSE Truth, Trust and Technology, The Online Harms White Paper: its approach to disinformation, and the challenges of regulation [blog link]
  • April 8, Internet Association [link] Statement On The Release Of The UK Government’s Online Harms White Paper
  • April 8, Carnegie Trust, Trust Welcomes Online Harms White Paper [blog link]
  • April 8, Index on Censorship, Online harms proposals pose serious risks to freedom of expression [blog link]
  • April 8, Desiderata [John Carr] blog link
  • April 8, UK Music, UK Music Responds To Online Harms White Paper [blog link]
  • April 8, Internet Matters [blog link]
  • April 8, Open Rights Group, The DCMS Online Harms Strategy must “design in” fundamental rights [blog link]

The Online Harms White Paper set out the government’s plans on April 8, 2019, and consultation closed July 1, 2019.

Direct or indirectly related Events

  • April 25, NPC hosted by Deloitte Not for Profit and in partnership with Nominet, The future of tech: Embracing opportunities and managing risks 8.30am-10.30 – Booking details

Related to children online but separate from Online Harms

January 13, 2021 Public Services Committee – Oral evidence
The implications of the new data-sharing code for public services
Elizabeth Denham CBE, Information Commissioner, Information Commissioner’s Office and Steve Wood, Deputy Commissioner.

The ICO Age Appropriate Design Code  (AADC)

Published on January 20, 2020: [download .pdf 111 pages.]

 The Age Appropriate Design Code came into force on September 2, 2020, with a 12 month transition period. Organisations should conform by 2 September 2021.

[download the Code as a .pdf from the ICO page header]

“The Secretary of State laid the Age Appropriate Design Code to Parliament under section 125(1)(b) of the Data Protection Act 2018 (the Act) on 11 June 2020. 

There is more information in the Explanatory Memorandum.”

The second stage of the ICO Age Appropriate Code of Practice was published on April 15 and was open for consultation until May 31, 2019.

AADC Reference pages and documents

AADC Reactions – stage two (2019)

  • June 4, Heather Burns,  Just how bad is the ICO’s draft age appropriate design code? WebDev Law [link]
  • April 16, techUK response to the ICO’s draft Age Appropriate Design Code [blog]
  • Open Rights Group [press release] ICO Age Appropriate Design Code of Conduct: tread lightly
  • April 15, defenddigitalme [blog]

AADC Responses – stage two (2019)

AADC Responses – stage one (2018)

Related of reference interest / incl. indirect

Direct media coverage

  • July 1, Guardian, Revenge porn victims being failed by outdated laws and policing [link]
  • July 2, Telegraph, Social media abuse victims must have legal right to sue tech giants, children’s charities say [link]
  • July 1, The Times, view on internet regulation: Blunt Instrument: Plans to make the internet safer may threaten free speech and an independent press [link]
  • June 1, Sunday Times, The guardian angels making the internet a safer place for children [£] on the AACOP
  • April 17, Daily Mail, Rise of the Splinternet Online Harms
  • April 16, Demos [link] Online Harms
  • April 16, Evening Standard, Is this the End of the Like Button?
  • April 15, The Sun, Internet Users could be made to prove their Age for Every Site under strict new Age Checks [AACOP] [link]
  • April 15, Guardian, Facebook urged to disable ‘like’ feature for child users [link]
  • April 14, Telegraph, Social media firms barred from using ‘addictive’ features to keep children online in new legal code (AACOP) [link]
  • April 12, Express VPN, UK unveils vague online safety laws [link]
  • April 9, CapX [link] Online Harms
  • April 9, WIRED, All that is Wrong with the UK’s Crusade against Online Harms [link]
  • April 8, Bit-tech, DCMS publishes Online Harms White Paper [link]
  • April 8, New Statesman America, The government is attempting to fix the internet – and we should be cautiously optimistic [link]
  • April 8, Metro, Government pledges to hit tech companies with ‘substantial fines’ for inappropriate content [link]
  • April 8, BBC, Websites to be fined over ‘online harms’ under new proposals [link]

Indirect/Related media coverage

Thinking to some purpose