Online Safety Bill enters parliament

Changes include bringing paid-for scam adverts on social media and search engines into scope, after intense pressure from a coalition of consumer groups, charities and financial services industry bodies.

The bill has also been updated to bring forward the time within which executives would be liable for prosecution. In the previous draft of the bill, executives whose companies fail to co-operate with Ofcom’s information requests could now face prosecution or jail time within two months of the bill becoming law, instead of two years.

The government has also launched a consultation on proposals to tighten the rules for the online advertising industry. This includes tougher rules and sanctions for harmful or misleading adverts, or those for illegal activities such as weapons sales.

Influencers failing to declare they have been paid to promote products on social media platforms could also be subject to stronger penalties.