The Mobile Data Association, which is the longest-established mobile trade association in the UK, says the process of reporting online abuse to the relevant authorities is in danger of becoming fundamentally unmanageable.
It’s warning that the increasing number of systems and mechanisms for reporting abuse, bullying and other criminal activity could result in an environment that is inadequate and fragmented. It’s also suggesting that the generation of abuse reports could make it easier for criminals to obtain personal information.
The MDA has developed its own proof-of-concept scheme for reporting abuse that can instantly feed information to authorities. It uses a single point for reporting online abuse, regardless of the platform or service used.
Mike Hawkes, Chairman of the MDA, said “As with any environment of antisocial behaviour or crime, there needs to be reporting, disincentives and appropriate punishment. But it currently seems that a proliferation of abuse reporting solutions is being encouraged, without any national framework to regulate how the relevant authorities can process such reports. Plenty of organisations are currently waiting to see what will happen, but it’s a dangerous strategy for UK authorities to ask each organisation to approach the issue in its own way.”