Online Safety Tech Industry Association Launches

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The Online Safety Tech Industry Association (OSTIA) has been launched today, bringing together expert companies and advisory bodies to tackle online safety.

With support from the National Crime Agency, GCHQ, the Home Office, NSPCC, and led by Cyan Forensics and PUBLIC, the association unites expert analysts and innovative companies with the joint mission of improving online safety.

OSTIA aims to inform policy makers, technology providers and the public about online safety technologies, establish a collective influence on policy, regulation and support for the sector and provide a forum for networking and collaboration for companies involved in the broad field of online safety.

Chaired by Ian Stevenson, CEO and co-founder of Cyan Forensics, organization representatives will meet regularly with government representatives to explore ways to support innovation and growth in UK tech. 

He said: “The topic of online safety is wide-ranging and hugely complex. Unfortunately for regulators and providers, it is made up of many individual problems; there is no silver bullet that will solve the whole issue. That’s why we wanted to establish this industry association – to create a powerful collective voice to enact change.

“By focusing on specific, actionable areas, we can work together to demonstrate how the thriving safety-related products and services market will play a significant role in helping companies protect the most vulnerable from accessing harmful content, while driving digital growth. Together, we can ensure that the public, technology companies and policy makers are aware of these lifelines.”

The formation of OSTIA was welcomed by Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who said: “We are determined to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online and have set out world-leading proposals to put a duty of care on online companies, enforced by an independent regulator.

“We are backing the industry to support our work by developing new products to improve online security and drive growth in the digital economy. This new association will help bring together relevant organizations to collaborate, innovate and create a safer online world.”
The association has three key aims:

  • Provide a voice of hope by informing policy makers, technology providers and the general public about online safety technologies
  • Create collective influence on policy, regulation and broader support for the sector
  • Provide a forum for companies contributing towards the goal of online safety

OSTIA’s current focus is compiling an Introductory Guide to Online Safety, a document drafted with specialist insight from government and civil society organizations. It will act as a guide for online platforms to proactively tackle online safety in the very design of their offerings.

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