The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) will bring together the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Ofcom, who are together responsible for regulating matters of competition and consumer protection, data protection and privacy, communications and online content, among other issues.
The authorities already work together bilaterally and via the UK Regulators Network, but they said the new forum will help them ensure their regulatory approaches to online services “remain coherent”.
“The DRCF aims to support cooperation and coordination between the CMA, the ICO and Ofcom on online regulatory matters, and enable coherent, informed and responsive regulation of the UK digital economy which serves citizens and consumers and enhances the global impact and position of the UK,” the authorities said.
Six objectives for the DRCF have been specified by the authorities, including their intention to use the forum as a vehicle for informing regulatory policy, anticipating future developments and promoting innovation.
Will Hayter, senior director of policy and international at the CMA, said: “If we’re going to make sure digital markets work well for people and businesses now and in the future, it’s important that regulators work together to share expertise and information – that’s why we’ve created this forum. The CMA, ICO and Ofcom all have important insights into the challenges posed by digital markets – joining up through the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum will help protect consumers who rely on digital services.”
Simon McDougall, executive director for technology and innovation at the ICO, said: “We are in an era of digital innovation and ambition, so it’s crucial that regulators work together to find a balance between effecting compliance and encouraging change in the online world. The Forum will help us pursue joint projects and research, and we look forward to sharing knowledge and best practices.”
Kate Davies, director of strategy and policy at Ofcom, said: “The Forum is important to support regulators in sharing and developing our understanding of the fast-changing digital landscape.”