Internet safety has been at or near the top of the political agenda in the UK for half a decade. From the Bailey and Byron reports, the formation of UKCCIS, ‘active choice’, Maria Miller’s June call to action to the industry, to the Prime Minister’s big summer speech and his November summit – no stone has been left unturned in the drive to protect children from the Internet’s dark forces. BT and Facebook have both borne the brunt of politicians’ attention and Simon Milner has therefore been in the thick of the political debate throughout this time. Has it all been worth it? Will the UK’s children have a better internet experience compared with kids elsewhere?
Simon Milner, Policy Director of Facebook for the UK and Ireland, describes the top issues currently facing the company. He states that the principal topic affecting Facebook in the UK is safety, particularly child safety, rather than privacy, the concern of most other countries. Noting the minimal role of Ofcom in Facebook’s operations due to the company’s data-driven business model, Milner still cautions regulators to remember that the risks of implementing incorrect Internet regulation are very high.
About the speakers
Simon Milner is Policy Director for Facebook in London, responsible for issues such as privacy, safety and advertising policy. He focuses particularly on UK, Ireland and African markets. He joined the company in January 2012. He is a board member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety and The Tinder Foundation. He previously held senior roles with BT, most recently as Director for Group Industry Policy, where he was responsible for policy development, articulation and advocacy on communications industry issues. Before BT he worked for the BBC including holding the position of Secretary, responsible for the Corporation’s governance and accountability, advising the Chairman and Director-General on a range of strategic, regulatory, managerial and governance issues.