Understanding the Online Safety Bill: Why Safety and Privacy Go Hand-in-Hand

As a private messaging platform dedicated to providing secure and authenticated messaging, we at YEO understand the importance of ensuring the safety and privacy of our users. This is why we can understand the problem other messaging platforms foresee. The dichotomy is that you can not maintain absolute privacy with applying sensorship, which is impossible to do when using double ratchet end-to-end encryption like ours. 

The internet has transformed the way we communicate, socialise, and do business, but its benefits have not come without risks. The rise of social media and online messaging apps has brought with it a wave of cyberbullying, child abuse, hate speech, and other harmful behaviours that can have serious consequences for individuals and society as a whole.


Why The Online Safety Bill is needed

The need for the Online Safety Bill is evident from the increasing numbers of cyber crimes in the UK. Recent data shows that online hate crimes have soared by 26% in England and Wales, with 155,841 incidents recorded between 2021 and 2022. Meanwhile, security.org has reported that 21% of children between 10 and 18 have have reported being cyber bullied to their parents, with 40% of cyberbullying cases goes unreported. Such figures underscore the urgent need to ensure safety and accountability in online spaces. 

Why YEO?

As a messaging platform, we recognise that privacy is a fundamental human right, but we also believe that messaging platforms have a responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of their users. This is why we use end-to-end encryption (E2EE) along with authentication measures to ensure our users are secure, and we plan to introduce sensitive or adult content screening into the platform. 

However, we also recognise that our duty to protect our users goes beyond just ensuring their privacy. We must also take proactive measures to prevent harmful behaviour from taking place on our platform. This is why we have implemented robust authentication measures, including biometric enrolment which must match the profile photo, to ensure that our users are who they say they are. All users must connect to stop unwanted messaging and spam. Users choose who they connect with.

We also give our users control over their messaging environment through geofence settings, allowing them to choose who can view their messages and where they can view them.

These measures go beyond the minimal requirements of the Online Safety Bill but demonstrate our commitment to protecting our users’ safety and privacy. We believe that messaging platforms have a duty to create a safe and secure environment for their users and that this can be done without compromising on privacy.

Why we support

We understand the concerns raised by some about the potential impact of the Online Safety Bill on free speech and expression. However, we believe that these concerns are unfounded, as the bill is designed to only target harmful and illegal behaviour, not legitimate forms of speech and expression.

Moreover, we believe that the bill will ultimately benefit all users of messaging platforms by creating a safer online environment and reducing the likelihood of online abuse and harassment.

In conclusion, we fully support the Online Safety Bill and believe that safety and privacy are not mutually exclusive but are instead complementary values that can and should be upheld simultaneously. We will continue to work towards creating a platform that is both secure and safe for our users and that respects their privacy and human rights.