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Throughout the pandemic, PICTFOR has continued to operate as a forum for discussion between Parliamentarians, industry, academics and other stakeholders on strategic issues facing the tech sector, and we are grateful for your continued interest and support.

As the largest and most active APPG, PICTFOR is finding innovative ways to continue providing a forum for the internet, communications and technology sectors and interested parliamentarians to communicate on pressing topics.

We will be keeping you and all our other members updated on our activities in regular newsletters to further promote and engage with the tech sector during these unprecedented times.


Event Recap

On Thursday 13 May, PICTFOR hosted their third event of the 2021, on Levelling-up through Digital: How can Tech and Digital support the levelling up agenda, bridging the geographical and socio-economic divide?

PICTFOR was delighted to be joined by Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman MP, Vice-Chair of the APPG on Social Mobility, Siobhain McDonagh MP, CEO of event Co-sponsor Jisc, Dr Paul Feldman, CEO of Good Things Foundation, the event’s second Co-Sponsor, Helen Milner OBE, and  Group CEO of Moneypenny, Joanna Swash. Panelists joined PICTFOR’s Co-Chair Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG who chaired the event. Each of our speakers discussed how the tech sector can further support Parliament and the Government in ‘levelling up’ the nation.


If you wish to catch-up on the event, you can view a full recording and minutes here.


Guest Blog

PICTFOR is delighted to be featuring a guest blog on Digital ID from Lord Holmes of Richmond, following his recent question in the House of Lords. The blog can be viewed here


Upcoming Events
PICTFOR are excited to announce the scheduling of five upcoming events – we plan to hold our Annual Diversity Rally and Dinner in the Houses of Parliament, but have also made plans to hold these events virtually should in-person sessions not be appropriate.

  1. Tech and the Climate Emergency

Tuesday 26 May, 14:00-15:00
Hosted on Zoom

Bim Afalomi MP, Chair of Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy APPG
Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Shadow Minister for Green New Deal and Energy
Amanda Brook, CEO of OpenUK
Rob Cheesewright, Director of Communications Smart Energy GB

PICTFOR Co-Chair, Darren Jones MP

  1. Platforms for Growth (co-sponsored by Facebook & techUK)

Wed 9 June, 11:00-12:00 (dial in details to follow)
Hosted on Zoom

Steve Hatch, VP Northern Europe, Facebook
Anthony Walker, Deputy Director, techUK

PICTFOR Co-Chair, Baroness Neville-Rolfe

  1. Digital Regulatory Collaboration 

Thursday 17 June, 11:00-12:00
Hosted on Zoom

Dame Melanie Dawes, Ofcom
Caroline Dinenage MP, Digital Minister
David Austin, CEO of the BBFC

We will also be joined by representatives from the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) for the Q&A, including a Director from the ICO and Kate Collyer, Chief Economist & Competition Directors, Financial Conducts Authority.

PICTFOR Treasurer, the Rt Hon Lord McNally

  1. Diversity Rally

Wednesday 14 July, 16:00-18:00
Terrace Pavilion, House of Commons

Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Science, Research and Digital Minister
Lord Bilimoria, President of CBI

  1. PICTFOR Annual Dinner

Tuesday 20 July, 19.00 – onwards
Cholmondeley Room and Terrace

Matt Warman MP, Digital Infrastructure Minister
Bridget Philipson MP, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury


If you would like sponsor any of the above events, email the Secretariat here


Member Updates

Age Verification Providers Association

  • The Age Verification Providers Association is part of a consortium awarded funding by the European Commission to deliver infrastructure to facilitate online age verification and parental consent across the EU and UK.   This high-profile pilot project was instigated by the European Parliament to develop a mechanism by which websites, apps, video-sharing platforms and other Information Society Services can comply with various legislation which offers special protections to deliver children’s rights in the virtual world.  This includes GDPR and the Audio Visual Media Services Directive, as well as the forthcoming online safety legislation in the UK and similar laws across the EU.  The AVPA is responsible for defining the business requirements for the new system.  The project is being led by research with children and parents, and will be supervised by leading academics, such as Professor Sonia Livingstone of LSE. If you are interested in hearing more about the project, or joining its advisory board, chaired by internet safety expert, John Carr OBE, please visit its dedicated website here.


  • Google has created a Community Help Kit to support local businesses. The toolkit contains all of Google’s free resources to help SMEs and NGOs during this difficult time, including free 1-to-1 mentoring, digital skills courses and a YouTube Creators Academy.

Call for digital policy issues – UK IGF:

  • The UK Internet Governance Forum (UK IGF) is the national IGF for the United Kingdom. IGFs are an initiative led by the United Nations for the discussion of public policy issues relating to the internet. A key distinguishing feature of IGFs is that they are based on the multi-stakeholder model – all sectors of society meet as equals to exchange ideas and discuss best practices. The purpose of IGFs is to facilitate a common understanding of how to maximise the opportunities of the internet whilst mitigating the risks and challenges that the internet presents. Submissions are now open, and you can submit your ideas here.

Phillip Virgo

  • Phillip has been maintaining an online guide to the evolving UK cyber policing and skills structures in order to help those organising local and national skills partnerships. The full guide can be found here.
  • Phillip is also looking for those who would be willing to help pilot a variety of programmes run by some of his current collaborators.

Since the last newsletter TikTok has continued to build on its actions to create a safer and kinder online environment. In recent weeks TikTok has: 

  • Rolled out two new safety features to help foster kindness in their community and to promote a positive environment where people support and lift each other up. These features give creators more control over the comments on their videos, and prompt people to reconsider posting unkind or inappropriate comments.
  • Announced new initiatives to educate their users to navigate the content they see online. They’ve collaborated with creators, public figures and digital media literacy charity ‘The Student View’ to create the #FactCheckYourFeed campaign encouraging users and creators to critically engage with the content they find online.
  • Launched their European Safety Advisory Council to support them in making TikTok as safe as it can be, as well as their new European Transparency and Accountability Centre that will provide experts with an opportunity to visit and see first-hand how they go about securing their community’s safety, data and privacy.
  • Published their fourth and latest Transparency Report covering the second half of 2020. The Report provides visibility into the volume and nature of content removed for violating their Community Guidelines. Of total videos removed, they identified and removed 92.4before a user reported them, 83.3% before they received any views and 93.5% within 24 hours of being posted.
  • Launched their #SwipeOutHate campaign, encouraging their community to stand together against hate in football and to make the most of our TikTok safety tools. In the coming.


  • A new report from colleagues at UCL and the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for Internet of Things (IoT) Systems Cybersecurity on “The UK Code of Practise (CoP) for Consumer IoT Security: Where we are and what next.” commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and published today alongside the government’s response to its call for views on proposals for regulating consumer smart product cyber security. This report picks out three issues that the researchers feel requires urgent consideration: the use of IoT devices by perpetrators of domestic abuse, fitness devices and children’s IoT connected toys. You can read the full report on the Gov.UK website here.
  • The first project catalogue for the Research Institute of Sociotechnical Cybersecurity (RISCS), which is intended to provided succinct summaries of all projects across the RISCS portfolio for a policy audience. Available here alongside the most recent RISCS Annual report.

If you would like further information on this topic or about PICTFOR’s programme of events, please get in touch!

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