It was originally called the Online Harms Bill and originated from the Online Harms White Paper, a U.K. government document outlining plans to become a world-leader when it comes to keeping users safe online.
Since then, the Bill has gone through many changes and iterations. As it continues to move through the parliamentary process of becoming law, there have been many additions to what the Bill should cover. For example, in March 2022, the criminalisation of cyberflashing and the addition of robust age verification measures for sites that host or publish pornography were both added to the Bill.
If it becomes law, Ofcom will oversee the implementation and ongoing adherence to the Bill. Companies that don’t comply with the new laws could face punishment, such as fines of up to 10% of their annual global turnover or having their site blocked completely.
Individuals can also be punished; company executives who fail to cooperate with Ofcom’s requests would face prosecution or jail time.