Labour MP Chi Onwurah calls for tech regulation: How could it work?
Labour MP Chi Onwurah has called for a new framework to regulate tech companies but there is little consensus on the form it could take, whether new government regulation or self-regulation would be the better option, or if the existing setup works as it is.
The 2017 Conservative manifesto contained a pledge to “establish a regulatory framework in law to underpin our digital charter and to ensure that digital companies, social media platforms and content providers abide by these principles” but Onwurah is unimpressed by their efforts to turn proposals into policy.
“There isn’t a current regulatory regime for big tech,” Onwurah told Techworld. “That’s a problem.”
The Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy, Science and Innovation wants to introduce a new regulatory framework for the digital age. The process would begin with a review of the issues involving the tech sector and the general public that incorporates a new digital “bill of rights” – as previously proposed by Labour.
“That’s something iconic that we can have a debate and review around, looking at what are the emerging technology trends, what are the implications for consumers for civil rights, for security and safety – that is a big one – and then set out what kind of regulatory principles,” she said.
Arguments against regulation
Onwurah’s desire for new tech regulation is not shared by all.