Tech firms must do more to protect online users, says May

Tech firms must do more to protect online users, says May
Copyright REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
By Emma Beswick
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

UK Prime Minister Theresa May made the demand during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos.


Focussing on technology and business, May did not dwell on the subject of Brexit in her address at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.

Starting on a positive note she communicated that "the populism of the far left and far right has not made the progress some predicted" and UK unemployment was at a 40-year low.

Going in for the hard sell, pledging that with her government's new business strategy, Britain would be "one of the best places in the world to start and run a business".

Moving on to the subject of business and technology, May identified a need to keep pace with the way modern technologies are shaping the workforce.

Giving the example of Uber as a business that demonstrated the problems and also profits that technology can bring, May reasoned that the answer was to flesh out employment law to work for the new industry, not to shut such companies down.

In terms of training workforces, the UK PM said her government must "ensure that no one is left behind as we take the next leap forwards".

Moving on to Artificial Intelligence (AI), she wants to make the UK a welcoming place for AI companies, as she believes "we’re only at the beginning of what AI can achieve".

"Seven in 10 people believe social media companies don't do enough to stop illegal or unethical behaviour on their platforms," was May's gambit to call on technology companies to bolster online security.

"These companies employ some of the brightest minds in the world," she reasoned— and should be doing more to protect users—especially children.

"Companies simply cannot stand by while their platforms are used to facilitate child abuse, modern slavery, or the spreading of terrorist and extremist content," she continued.

May finished her speech by calling on those at the World Economic Forum to work together to achieve the points addressed in her speech:

"Let’s renew our commitment to collaboration—and set ourselves on a path to benefit all our people. Now, and for generations to come."

Watch the full speech here: 

Share this articleComments

You might also like