LONDON: Big tech companies whose online platforms carry advertisements for scams should be made to reimburse victims, British lawmakers said, as part of wider efforts to combat a growing epidemic of online fraud in Britain.
While banks have signed up for a voluntary code to reimburse fraud victims who do enough to protect themselves, there is not sufficient regulation governing social media and other websites where victims are often first lured in, Mel Stride, chairman of the cross-party Treasury committee.
“The government should look at some kind of arrangement that makes the polluter pay,” he said.
“Online platforms are hosting this stuff, not really putting enough effort into weeding it out, and indeed financially benefiting because they’re getting the advertising revenues,” Stride said.
TechUK, a trade body that represents major tech companies in Britain, including Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft, declined to provide an immediate comment.
Stride’s comments came as the Treasury committee on Wednesday published the findings of a report on economic crime, which urged the government to seriously consider forcing online platforms to help to refund victims.
The report noted that TechUK in December said Facebook (now known as Meta), Twitter and Microsoft had committed to requiring potential financial services advertisers to be authorized by Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, following similar steps taken by Google, TikTok, and Amazon.