Top UK watchdogs join forces to regulate digital services

The ICO, CMA and Ofcom will work together to ensure services remain fair for businesses and consumers

Three UK watchdogs have joined forces to manage the regulation of digital services to ensure they act in a way that's fair for businesses and consumers.

'The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum' aims to pull together the expertise of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Ofcom.

The forum's aim is to ensure online services work well for consumers and businesses in the UK, particularly where data, privacy, competition, communications and content interact. The three regulatory bodies will use the forum to coordinate action and support the development of informed and responsive regulation.

"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 ICO's executive director for tech and innovation, Simon McDougall, said. "The Forum will help us pursue joint projects and research, and we look forward to sharing knowledge and best practices."

The forum has set out six objectives for the ICO, CMA and Ofcom to work on, the first being to collaborate on a unified approach to the development of regulation, and the second being to inform regulatory policy making by using their collective expertise to explore emerging policy challenges.

The forum is also tasked with pooling regulatory knowledge and resources together to ensure all parties have the skills and expertise needed to carry out their jobs within the digital market. It will also develop a shared understanding of digital trends to anticipate what future regulations will be needed, as well as promote innovation through shared knowledge and experience.

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The last goal is to strengthen international engagement with other regulatory bodies across the EU and the rest of the world. The members of the forum will also "engage" with the government and relevant members from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

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