CWIC 2022 - Fred Langford, Ofcom

What is the Online Safety Regulators Role in Security, Identity and Privacy?

Citizens have increasingly looked towards the government to develop regulation as a means to ensure they are safe from harm online.  As users seek protections online Ofcom will be implementing Online Safety regulation to protect users’ security, Identity and Privacy whilst ensuring it is possible for platforms to surface issues on their networks. How harms manifest online vary across a variety of services and Ofcom as the Online Regulator is required to understand the ‘art of the possible’ technically.  Messaging, online gaming, social media, search, virtual or augmented reality and any other services that enable user to user interaction increasingly require identity solutions to provide appropriate content to protect vulnerable users.  How should identity be managed within these different services? Where is identity best placed to be most effective? Should the solution be self-sovereign, 3rd party or in-house? What are the challenges for users and platforms to implement effective identity solutions and how could these impact upon other regulation and/or protections already in place nationally and internationally? Should regulation be based upon standards or best practice? This presentation will walk through these questions from a regulators perspective to showcase some of the evidence and current and future areas of research.

About Fred Langford

Fred-LangfordFred is Director of Trust and Safety Technology at the UK Communications Regulator Ofcom, a Visiting Professor at University of Suffolk, Visiting Professional Fellow at Aston University, member of the REPHRAIN (Bristol University) and INHOPE (International Hotline Association) Advisory Boards.  Fred is also a Non-Exec Director of the Video Standards Council.

Prior to joining Ofcom Fred was Deputy CEO/CTO of Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and President of INHOPE (International Hotline Association) with his focus being on Internet Policy/Governance, Cybersecurity, Child Protection, Trust and Safety/Safeguarding Technologies, online crime prevention and effective regulation.  His practical work was developing data sets for industry to implement into their architectures to reduce the risk of illegal content.

Fred has 30 years’ experience across a variety of sectors (Commercial, CSO’s, Military and Regulatory) and a vast amount of experience across a multitude of technologies.  Fred is also Former Chair of the UK Council for Internet Safety, Technical Working Group (UKCIS TWG), Board Member of the UK Home Office Child Abuse Image Database Strategic Group, Member of the National Crime Agency (NCA) Prevent Strategic Board, a founding Director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and is an expert advisor to UK and other Governments, Parliamentarians, The Commonwealth, Police and NGOs.

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