People need more power over privacy, techUK president says

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The public must be given more power to control their privacy, the leader of a UK technology body has said, as the country moves closer to potential regulation of social networks and big tech firms.

Jacqueline de Rojas, president of techUK, the body representing 900 companies in the digital sector, believes that regulation will only work if decision-makers work together with the industry to bring about changes to the way people’s data is used.

“I would like to see much more privacy in the hands of the individual,” Ms de Rojas told BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

“We have to, as individuals, also be clear about what we want to have out there, and have complete control over that.

“I think we will need regulation, but I think we need regulation together with the platform providers themselves, because you have got to have that partnership in order to make it work.”

The entrepreneur also spoke about Brexit and stressed the urgency for certainty so tech businesses can prepare.

“We do need to have trade deals in terms of data and we need to have agreements in terms of security but I think perhaps our biggest issue is access to talent,” she continued.

The Government is preparing to release its white paper on online harms, which is expected to include some form of regulation making social networks more responsible for what is shared on their platforms.

Desert Island Discs is available on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 4 from 11.15am on Sundays.

Chris Price
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