Online Safety Bill revamp could cost businesses £250m – Tech Monitor

The latest version of the Online Safety Bill includes new measures to sanction tech bosses, but could cost smaller businesses.

The second reading of the government’s Online Safety Bill is expected to take place today. The bill, designed to help keep citizens safe when using online services, has been targeted at social media companies, but could see 25,100 businesses that fall into its scope spend £250m to avoid legal action by regulator Ofcom.

According to the latest impact assessment on the bill, published on Thursday, micro, small, medium and large businesses that fall into the scope of “user-to-user services and search services” will have to bear a number of costs to adhere to the new regulations. In 2020, DCMS commissioned consultancy firm RR to estimate the number of organisations in scope of the framework and to determine the likely incremental costs of compliance.

In addition, the assessment says 180,000 “platforms” could fall into scope. It is likely they will need to spend between £9.6m and £17.5m to “familiarise” themselves with the new bill.

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