Minister for Digital outlines plans to make the UK the safest place on the world to be online:

Thank you for inviting me to this year’s Safer Internet Day event. I’m thrilled to be here at the BT Centre, and I would like to congratulate the UK Safer Internet Centre on coordinating a highly successful campaign which sees hundreds of organisations get involved to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. This event is celebrated in over 100 countries and is one of the many Safer Internet Day activities happening all over the UK.

I’m very encouraged to see so many young people here today in this auditorium. It is crucial that we in government, as we make policy, learn from young people about their experiences online. Digital technology and social media enable young people to access educational resources, make social connections, build relationships and demonstrate creativity.

As the use of technology has grown, it has impacted every area of our lives. Planning a journey, checking your bank balance, organising campaigns, sharing photos, listening to music - all daily tasks that so many of us now complete online. And I know that many of the students here today are passionate about how technology benefits their everyday lives. I share that passion.

But we also know that a lot of young people are worried about what they see or experience online.

I’m looking forward to speaking with students from Dundonald Primary School, Kaizen Primary School, Viridis Schools Federation, Dr Challoner’s High School, Mayfield School, Sarah Bonnell School and Brooke School. I’m particularly interested in hearing about their experiences online and seeing what they have prepared for this year’s Safer Internet Day.

I’m aware that many of you are Digital Leaders in your schools and I’d like to thank you for the contribution you make to Safer Internet Day, and extend my congratulations for all the hard work you have carried out at your schools to help ensure that your peers are well informed about how to stay safe online. The exhibitions you have been preparing are focussing on consent online. The theme of this year’s Safer Internet Day.

Consent has been much in the news of late. A New York Times investigation has just found that the information being collected about us through apps on our smartphones is far more extensive than most of us imagine or are aware we have consented to.


Last year the government made sweeping changes to the Data Protection regime and gave citizens new powers over their data. Consent, the theme of Internet Safety Day, must now be freely given, clear, unambiguous and fair. That’s really important.

This legislation is not before time. Last week it was reported that Facebook have been paying users as young as 13 to download a Facebook Research app in contravention of Apple’s strict privacy rules. This app allowed Facebook to look at users browsing history and other network data by requiring users to install a “root certificate” - this certification enabled Facebook to decrypt those users browsing history including messages they sent, what apps they used and for how long, to amass a very rich data set in order to sell ever more targeted advertising.

Apple responded by pulling the offending App and standing up for our privacy rights; they are among many voices in the States calling for similar privacy laws to the GDPR, that we have in Europe, to be enacted in the United States.

Online safety is a top priority for the Government and we want to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. We will soon be publishing an Online Harms White Paper which will set out clear expectations for companies to help keep their users, particularly children, safe online.

Internet companies have always enjoyed legal protection from liability for user generated content. This laissez faire environment has led some companies to pursue growth and profitability with little regard for the security and interests of their users. There is far too much bullying, abuse, misinformation and manipulation online as well as serious and organised crime online.

For too long the response from many of the large platforms has fallen short. There have been no fewer than fifteen voluntary codes of practice agreed with platforms since 2008. Where we are now is an absolute indictment of a system that has relied far too little on the rule of law.

The White Paper, which DCMS are producing with the Home Office, will be followed by a consultation over the summer and will set out new legislative measures to ensure that the platforms remove illegal content and prioritise the protection of users, especially children, young people and vulnerable adults.

It will also include ambitious measures to support continued education and awareness for all users and to promote the development and adoption of new safety technologies. We want to get to a place where we can enjoy the huge benefits of new technology has to offer, without our children, and other vulnerable individuals, being put at risk of serious harm.

So Engagement with industry, charities, peers and academia sits at the heart of our approach. And back in November 2017, with thanks to the UK Safer Internet Centre, we were able to talk and listen directly to many young people, some of whom I believe are back here again today in this room. The conversations we had are helping us to develop world leading laws as well as other measures to make sure that the UK is the safest place in the world to be online.

In developing the White Paper we have continued to engage with a wide range of organisations. And I am grateful to those organisations, including Childnet and the Internet Watch Foundation that are part of the executive board of the UK Council for Internet Safety, which I co-chair with Ministers from the Department for Education and the Home Office. The Council does hugely important work, bringing together expertise from a range of organisations in the tech industry, civil society and public sector to collaborate and coordinate a UK-wide approach to improving internet safety. It’s great to see that a similarly collaborative approach lies at the heart of Safer Internet Day.

Let me repeat my thanks to The UK Safer Internet Centre for inviting me along today. I look forward to hearing more of your ideas about what more needs to done to help keep everyone safe online, and today is a timely reminder of the work ahead.

The government is determined to act so that we can all enjoy the huge benefits of new technology, without our children, and other vulnerable individuals, being put at risk of serious harm.

Published 5 February 2019

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel shared a video in channel. 18 hours 56 minutes ago

How @KaplanUK Have Handled the COVID-19 Pandemic...

Richard Marsh - Apprenticeship Partnerships Director, talks about how the pandemic has affected our company and what actions we've put in place to...

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 18 hours 56 minutes ago

RT @FeLeadership: We seek to work in partnership with sector colleagues to address these challenges. The critical task of re-skilling the w…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page