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A Group of Public Security and Services Providers Have Penned a Letter to the UK Government Over Online Retailers Selling Unsafe Items

A group of online security firms, consumer watchdogs, and emergency services personnel, have recently written to the UK government over online retailers being unsafe for the general populace.

The UK government has been found to be a bit more vigilant over online occurrences under its part of the world than the average country chooses to be. A mix of laws carried over from the EU as well as its own rather active (in some matters) parliament, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have faced pressure over practices that are considered to be either directly or indirectly unsafe. The government also has a dedicated and active cybercrime unit that assists the general populace by tracking down and incarcerating cybercriminals in attempts to keep everyone else safe. Of course, the division isn’t perfect and most other country has one too. I’m just attempting to establish that the UK’s no sleeper when it comes to online security.

Perhaps that’s why a temporary alliance of online safety groups, consumer watchdog providers, and emergency services decided to pen a letter directly addressing the country’s government. The letter’s contents are simple and wish to resolve one rather major issue that comes up as a security threat. Namely, online retailers large and small need to be kept in check for the betterment of the country’s populace. The group feels that there are certain gaps in laws instated by the UK that allow such retailers to get away with placing unsafe items online, therefore leading to harmful effects for consumers down the line.

While the group acknowledged that many retailers, such as Amazon, eBay, and Ali Express would remove listings once reported to be harmful or dangerous, it still felt that a more rigorous checking procedure is warranted. For one, unlike real-life retailers and High Street shops, online retailers exist in a virtual space and are therefore subject to a different set of rules and regulations. Secondly, these rules and regulations often extend themselves to products being sold by the companies themselves. This is particularly inefficient, since many online retailers don’t sell their own products, instead acting as a platform that other third party companies can utilize in order to sell goods. Therefore, such goods manage to escape active detection, the retailers themselves are left unaccountable, and users can still be harmed by faulty, defective, or intentionally harmful contents.

Perhaps this letter being issued coming in the wake of massive shopping events such as Black Friday is not a coincidence. As it is, online retail sales are increasing dramatically year by year in this time period, which is good since there are less physical injuries to consumers from rugby tackling each other over a 40% discount Nintendo Switch. At any rate, the letter has been penned by major names across the UK public services directory, with the National Fire Chiefs Council, London Fire Brigade, Electrical Safety First, the British Toy and Hobby Association, and the Child Accident Prevention Trust being some of the major signatories. They all remain hopeful from a positive response and active action being taken by the British government.


Read next: CIA Operatives & Directors Weigh In On Espionage And Difficulties Faced By The Trade In The Modern World

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