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Many Unanswered Questions: EDiMA Response to UK Online Harms White Paper

Brussels, 28 June 2019 -The UK Online Harms White Paper begins an in-depth policy discussion on the
future of Internet governance and the regulation of users’ content and activity online.

As a representative of the platform economy, EDiMA supports a holistic approach to digital policy-making
which includes all actors in the online space, which would provide legal certainty to online
service providers and workable solutions to the challenges raised by the presence of illegal and/or
harmful content online.

However, any policy developments in this space must respect free expression and other online rights,
and must therefore be aligned with the e-Commerce Directive. As a framework piece of legislation,
the integrity of the Internal Market principles and the limited liability regime of the e-Commerce
Directive are essential for the future of the open Internet – and have been key factors in the
development of the online services and the Internet economy we enjoy today.

Presently, the UK Online Harms White Paper does not clarify how the proposed framework can be
reconciled with the e-Commerce Directive and indeed other existing bodies of law. Moreover, the
Paper raises many other questions on fundamental issues ranging from definition and scope, to
simple feasibility. These questions must be considered by legislators before an initiative of this
magnitude is taken forward – or risk the creation of unclear legislation which leads to mass noncompliance and persistent issues with enforcement.

EDiMA has therefore prepared a response to the UK Online Harms White Paper and remains at the disposal of policy-makers for further discussions on this initiative.

For more information contact:
+32 2 626 1990
info@edima-eu.org

Ends

 

* EDiMA is the European trade association representing online platforms and other innovative businesses. It is an alliance of new media and Internet companies whose members include Airbnb, Allegro, Amazon EU, Apple, eBay, Expedia, Facebook, Google, King, Microsoft, Mozilla, OLX, Snap Inc., TripAdvisor, Twitter, Verizon Media and Yelp. EDiMA’s members provide Internet and new media platforms offering European consumers a wide range of online services, including e-content, media, e-commerce, communications and information/search services.

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