The Policy Download

The weekly summary of tech policy and politics from Taso Advisory
Issue 56 / 1 July 2022
Stories this week 

Online Safety Bill finishes Commons committee stage (link)

The Online Safety Bill has now finished committee stage in the Commons. The Bill goes back to the whole Commons for the remaining stages (report and third reading) before heading off to the Lords for some serious scrutiny post-summer recess. The Bill is remarkably unamended post-committee, with basically just the addition of an ability for Ofcom to recover costs and the extension of the fraudulent advertising duty to Category 2A services. The Government has promised to look more at smaller services that might pose a risk. We can expect a Government amendment on this at report stage. 

Institute for Economic Affairs publishes report on the Online Safety Bill (link)

The IEA published An Unsafe Bill this week. It's heavily critical of the OSB, calling it a threat to free speech, innovation and privacy. The report got the backing of David Davis and Lord Frost, two leaders of the free speech camp of the Conservative Party (feels wild to write that there is a serious wing of the Conservative Party that is not free speech).

Intellectual Property Office to create copyright and database exemption for text and data mining (link)

The IPO published its response to a consultation on possible reforms to the UK's intellectual property regime as artificial intelligence develops. This confirmed the Government's intention to introduce new copyright and database exemptions to allow text and data mining for any purpose.

Government launches call for evidence on short term tourist accommodation (link

The Government has launched a call for evidence on the benefits and challenges posed by the short-term and holiday letting industries. The call for evidence asks for top-level views from respondents on their views of the industry. Options floated include the development of self-certification, other registration or other licensing scheme with physical checks of premises. The Government will use the call for evidence to develop appropriate policy options, which will be consulted on later this year.
 Next week in Parliament 

On Tuesday the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee will take evidence on the semiconductor industry in the UK. Lord Clement-Jones has an oral question on the Information Commissioner's Office to fine and issue an enforcement notice against Clearview AI.

On Thursday DCMS Ministers have oral questions in the Commons
What we've been reading and listening to

Jimmy Soni: The Founders
 Our recent work 
Lulu Freemont joins Taso Advisory as Director

We're delighted that Lulu Freemont, formerly Head of Digital Regulation at techUK, has joined Taso Advisory as a Director. Lulu has worked with some of the most exciting tech businesses in the world on policy, regulation and politics, and she'll bring that expertise to our work with clients.

If you'd like a conversation about how Taso Advisory can support you, please just get in touch
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The Policy Download is written by Ben Greenstone and the team at Taso Advisory.

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Ben tweets at @ben_greenstone.
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