‘Special Representative on Internet Safety’ appointed by Prime Minister

Internet safetyTheresa May has appointed Baroness Shields as the Prime Minister’s ‘Special Representative on Internet Safety’.

The newly created role, which is unpaid, “will support the delivery of the government’s objective to make the UK the safest place to use the internet without fear of abuse, criminality or exposure to harmful content,” said a statement from Number 10.

Baroness Shields, who was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Internet Safety and Security, will work with the Prime Minister, Home Secretary and Culture Secretary at home and abroad, representing representing the UK at US, EU and international forums, conferences and events.

She will also encourage the development of new company-led interventions to improve Internet safety and to “address abuse, criminality and harmful content online”.

The job also includes engaging with established Internet platform providers and “facilitate their support of smaller companies with less established practices to combat internet abuse and harms”.

Baroness Shields will continue serving on the WePROTECT Board and supporting the WePROTECT international agenda and expansion.

Shields has worked for a number of Silicon Valley-based companies, ran the social network Bebo and was Facebook’s managing director in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. She was involved in the establishment of the UK Government’s Tech City initiative, becoming its chief executive, and was appointed by David Cameron as ambassador for digital industries.

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