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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance

Briefings

The UK online safety regime

9 November 2023

After being in the works for half a decade, the UK’s Online Safety Act 2023 received Royal Assent last week. It will join the EU's Digital Services Act as one of the newest and boldest tech regulations in Europe and is aimed at making the UK 'the safest place to be online'.

The Act will deploy a diverse set of rules, obligations, and regulatory powers designed to protect users, particularly children, from online harms. Whether the Act, and its regulator, Ofcom, will be successful in striking the balance between freedom of speech and other rights, and the need for online safety, will remain in contention for years to come.

In this first of a series of three planned articles on the online safety regime in the UK, we provide an overview of the OSA and what it entails for the 100,000 services estimated to be in scope. Following articles in this series will unpack compliance obligations and practical guidance for businesses in more detail.

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