Government uses king’s speech to take aim at digital fraud

Monarch’s presentation flags up ministers’ intention to introduce legislation to help tackle issues such as cyberattacks and data theft, as well as covering issues including fake reviews and autonomous vehicles

The government will introduce new legislation to deter digitally enabled crime, this week’s king’s speech indicated.

The efforts will form part of a broader regulatory framework to empower police forces and the justice systems to “prevent new or complex crimes”.  Digitally enabled crime, which includes cybercrime and data theft. The UK reportedly ranks fifth worldwide for data breaches, with almost 30 million instances every year.

Opening last week’s AI safety summit, King Charles stated the world was “witnessing one of the greatest technological leaps in the history of human endeavour” as he called for AI risks to be dealt with “a sense of urgency, unity and collective strength”.  The landmark announcement of the summit was an international cooperation agreement in which a range of major nations – including the UK, US, and China – signed up to work together to tackle the potential dangers of AI.

Amongst other digital technology measures revealed was new legislation “to support the safe commercial development of emerging industries” including self-driving vehicles and introducing a new competitive framework for digital markets.

The latter includes fines for breaches of consumer protection laws as well as steps that digital platforms should take to ensure the consumer reviews they use are not fabricated. Currently, the bill is going through the last stages at the House of Commons before progressing to the House of Lords.

Sofia Villegas

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