Regulating online safety and tackling online harms

When Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1990, he envisaged a decentralised environment of free exchange of ideas and information. Fast forward to 2019, almost 30 years later, and that online environment has been polluted by disinformation, manipulation, harassment and privacy breaches. The growth of online pollution has prompted various regulatory responses such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation1, Germany’s Network Enforcement Act2, Australia’s Abhorrent Violence Amendment Bill3 and California’s Consumer Privacy Act4, each one responding to an online safety problem. In a world first, however, the UK has signalled it will regulate online safety in a single and coherent way, including creating a statutory duty of care for online safety. This howtoregulate article will analyse the UK’s regulatory approach outlined in its April 2019 Online Harms White Paper, which is open for public consultation until July 2019, and propose ways to improve on regulatory enforcement of online safety. Continue reading Regulating online safety and tackling online harms

Infectious diseases: how to regulate an agile system equipped for the unknown

This howtoregulate article explores the regulation of infectious diseases, an issue of global importance noting that an outbreak from any infectious disease is just a plane ride away. Global climate change has contributed to increases in vector-borne diseasesand zoonotic diseases2, as animals move to populated areas in search of food. The World Health Organisation even has a placeholder for future unknown diseases (Disease X) on its list for determining which diseases and pathogensto prioritise for research. Evidently, effective public health regulations are critical for the effective surveillance, early detection and prevention of infectious diseases. Continue reading Infectious diseases: how to regulate an agile system equipped for the unknown

Tobacco control regulations: Combating the world´s leading preventable cause of death

Tobacco remains the leading preventable cause of death in the world today and accounts for around 12% of all adult deaths worldwide (more than 7 million people)1. Its effects are far-reaching and has implications along the supply chain: from the land used to grow tobacco instead of food, often in countries where food security is a concern, to the 63% of children of tobacco-growing families involved in child labour, to the environmental effects of smoke expelled into the air, the bystander and the smoker´s health2. This howtoregulate article focuses on tobacco control regulation and regulation for the emerging tobacco alternative electronic cigarettes. Continue reading Tobacco control regulations: Combating the world´s leading preventable cause of death