Clause 7 - Relevant persons

Part of Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 11:45 am ar 17 Mawrth 2022.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Chris Elmore Chris Elmore Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) 11:45, 17 Mawrth 2022

The amendment itself is fairly self-explanatory. However, I will take the opportunity to speak briefly on it in the hope of persuading Conservative Members—and indeed the Minister—to support it.

Clause 7 defines the relevant persons subject to the security requirements as being manufacturers, importers and distributors. Crucially, however, online platforms such as eBay and Amazon are not defined as falling under any of those categories. To my mind, that is both deeply concerning and preposterous, given that, under any definition, online platforms such as the two I have just mentioned are without doubt distributors themselves.

I am sure everyone in this Committee has either sold or bought something through eBay or Amazon. The oversight in the Bill has real-world consequences, as products sold on those online platforms will not be policed in the same way. That is problematic, as research by groups such as Which?—which we heard evidence from earlier this week—has consistently shown that online marketplaces are flooded with insecure products, while the Bill would do nothing to increase the legal responsibility online marketplaces have for the safety and security of products sold through them.

In tabling the amendment, we are merely expanding the number of organisations that the security requirements would apply to, in order to better protect all our constituents, which is the expressed aim of the Bill according to the Minister’s opening remarks and indeed those of the Secretary of State at Second Reading. I therefore urge the Minister and all Committee members to support the amendment.