UK lawmakers suggest that bill on online safety should apply to the metaverse and web 3.0.
UK bill on online safety should apply in the metaverse, say lawmakers

Metaverse and Web 3.0 in the UK Legislation

The Online Safety Bill, which is aimed at regulating certain internet services in the United Kingdom, was discussed in the House of Lords on July 12. The debate revolved around whether the bill would cover activities in the metaverse, a virtual environment also known as Web 3.0.

Many members of the upper house considered how the regulations could address potential risks to children, such as “ghastly stuff,” that they might encounter online. Timothy Clement-Jones argued that the bill should include the metaverse and its environments, saying, “If we do not include that kind of provider environment in its scope, we will fail our children and vulnerable adults and we will be falling down on the job.”

Stephen Parkinson added that the scope of the bill should cover “anything communicated by means of an internet service,” including virtual objects, avatars, text, and images provided by other users. He suggested that this could include the features integrated into Web 3.0, such as NFTs, crypto, and the Internet Computer.

The regulations and safeguards concerning the internet and its users vary from nation to nation and are still in the process of being established as adoption rates increase. In the United States, certain advocacy organizations have demanded that Meta does not permit minors to access the company’s web 3.0 metaverse platform, Horizon Worlds, due to the risks of harassment and loss of privacy.

The U.K. Online Safety Bill is set to be discussed further in the House of Lords on July 17. Before the bill can be officially passed, it needs to go through a third reading in the House and then be signed into law.

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