Policy Forum for Ireland

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Next steps for online safety and regulation in Ireland

Morning, Tuesday, 17th September 2024

Online


This conference will focus on next steps for online safety and regulation in Ireland.


It is bringing stakeholders and policymakers together to examine priorities for development and effective implementation of the new Online Safety Code, with work ongoing by Coimisiún na Meán following public consultation, which will apply to video sharing platform services and be legally binding.


Delegates will discuss priorities and provisions of the code, with an updated draft version published in May and notified to the European Commission for assessment, as well as the way forward for its practical application in addressing online harms.


The agenda includes a focus on issues arising from the consultation, including the need for clarity and proportionality in the development of the code, and next steps for minimising overlap with wider online safety legislation.


There will also be discussion on priorities for safeguarding children online, looking at options for effective age verification measures, and addressing challenges posed by aggressive AI recommender algorithms, with certain groups expressing concern that these will not be covered by the code.


Further sessions will explore areas of best practice in the development of online safety frameworks elsewhere and how these can be implemented in Ireland’s approach. Delegates will discuss coordination with wider EU law, including implementation and building on the Digital Services Act 2024, and Ireland’s responsibility as the regulator of many very large online platforms in Europe, given the country of origin principle operating for online safety legislation.


We are pleased to be able to include a keynote session with Niamh Hodnett, Online Safety Commissioner, Coimisiún na Meán.


Overall, areas for discussion include:

  • Online Safety Code: priorities, provisions and key issues - structure and implementation - safety impact assessments - defining categories of harm - online education and digital literacy - options for age verification
  • regulatory priorities: regulatory support and clarity of responsibility - ensuring proportionality - assessing harmful recommender algorithms - prospects for an individual complaints mechanism
  • assessing best practice: learning from approaches elsewhere - options for cross-border collaboration - assessing merits and challenges for prescriptive and descriptive approaches
  • coordination with wider EU legislation: coordinating with regulatory bodies and minimising duplication of regulatory requirements - implementing the Digital Services Act 2024 - ensuring regulation is flexible
  • protecting children: safeguarding from cyber-bullying and the promotion of self-harm, suicide or disordered eating - developing robust age verification technologies - providing parents with supportive tools
  • tech industry priorities: platforms’ duty of care - implementation of new responsibilities - clarity of guidance and transparency on requirements for advertising policy - approaches for removal of harmful content
  • addressing deep learning and AI algorithms: assessing the impact of recommender algorithms on children - potential for minimising the spread of disinformation
  • complaints mechanisms: assessing how an individual complaints mechanism could work in practice - addressing resourcing challenges - options for a ‘super-complaints’ system to address systemic issues


Keynote Speaker

Niamh Hodnett

Online Safety Commissioner, Coimisiún na Meán

Speakers

Sarah Twohig

Senior Associate, Pinsent Masons

Alex Cooney

CEO, CyberSafeKids

Jane McGarrigle

Project Officer, Webwise

Iain Corby

Executive Director, Age Verification Providers Association

Julie Inman Grant

eSafety Commissioner, Office of the eSafety Commissioner of Australia

Ella Jakubowska

Head of Policy, European Digital Rights