techUK Policy Pulse | Your weekly update on digital and tech policy

With each party taking turns to one-up the other, there’s been very little other news getting any bandwidth.

The pros and cons of asking commercial companies to monitor and control free speech has found a tangible case study in the form of Alex Jones (so he’s not completely useless). Apple, YouTube and Facebook have all decided to delete his content this week, whilst Twitter’s CEO has stated that their rules haven’t been broken (Tommy Robinson’s Twitter account, on the other hand, was suspended recently). A good summary of the issues at play can be found here.

Matt Warman MP has this week also weighed in on the debate around internet regulation in a thoughtful piece for The Times. Matt questions whether we should regulate free speech online in a way that we don’t in the real world. It is a sensible contribution to this important debate that will continue to require careful thought and engagement.

Over at the Department for Education, Secretary of State Damian Hinds has called for an “educational revolution” fuelled by tech. Recognising the power tech tools have to transform the classroom, Hinds wants to work with innovators to get tech into schools – a mission we fully support and applaud.

Wellbeing is an issue being taken seriously by tech companies with more tools being introduced to help users monitor their tech habits and set controls on usage. For example Android Pie, launched this week, has a whole range of “Digital Wellbeing Controls,” whilst Apple recently unveiled ‘digital wellness’ features for its upcoming iOS 12 software. All just in time for Scroll Free September!

techUK News and Events

Our summer survey on tech parents’ perspectives on the future of work continues. If you are a parent working in the tech sector or in a tech role and you haven’t yet participated then stop reading (don’t worry I won’t be offended) and get yourself across to the survey here - it’ll only take a few minutes!

Similarly, in light of the four consultations from the Department of International Trade on future trade deals, we are keen to have a better understanding of your trade policy and facilitation requirements. Please complete this very short questionnaire to help us better tailor our work on the issue.

To coincide with our flagship public sector conference, Building the Smarter State, techUK is hosting a week of guest blogs on how emerging technologies are shaping public services. If you would like to contribute to the conversation, please get in touch with Ellie Huckle.

Finally, and in the most important bit of news you’ll read this week, I will be away on holiday next week in (hopefully) sunny Devon – any tips of things to do and see please send them through to me. Do not fear, in my absence my not-so-funny colleague Giles Derrington will be delivering your weekly digest of tech news.



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