The British government is preparing to introduce new rules that will force Facebook, Google and other Internet sites to identify users’ identities. The move is part of an “Internet Security Act” announced last year aimed at combating anonymous “trolls” on the Internet.
Technology companies need to make their own decisions about how to identify users at the account creation stage. However, in particular the government has proposed the use of facial identity systems, dual factor authentication and profile photos verified by government-issued identity cards. The British regulator will control the implementation of the Ofcom Act.
The government proposed measures to protect citizens from “legal but harmful” substances. For example, this step allows parents to configure additional web browsing settings for children who receive filtered search results on certain topics.
As is often the case, non-compliance with the law is subject to a turnover penalty – a fine of up to 10% of the company’s global revenue. The size of Google and Facebook for technology giants could be in the billions of dollars. In addition to the economic activities of influence, it is also expected to block services in the country.
The British government has made it clear that the idea of introducing new rules appeared in 2018 after an incident last year when many black England footballers were subjected to massive anonymous web harassment following the Euro 2020 final. The new rules received more than 700,000 signatures. However, critics also point to the fact that anonymity on the Internet can benefit the work of various minority rights defenders.
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