DRCF moves forward with “joined-up approach to digital regulation”

Posted on: Friday 12 March 2021 | IAB UK

The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) has outlined its priorities for the coming year, marking a step-change in coordination of regulation across digital and online services

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Following the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) market study, the DRCF was set up between the CMA, Ofcom and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to support regulatory coordination in digital markets and cooperation on “areas of mutual importance”.

The DRCF has now published its workplan for 2021/22, setting out a roadmap for how the regulators will increase the scope and scale of their cooperation, including pooling expertise and resources, working more closely on certain online regulatory matters, and reporting on results annually. It names one of its priorities for this year as digital advertising technologies. Key points to note include: 

  • In relation to digital advertising, the workplan encompasses ongoing workstreams including the DCMS online advertising regulation review, the CMA’s market study into online platforms and digital advertising and the ICO’s ongoing investigation into ad tech and real-time bidding. It also notes links to Ofcom’s regulation of video-sharing platforms and the ICO’s Age-Appropriate Design Code

  • As well as digital advertising technologies, the DRCF has identified a particular need to coordinate regulatory approaches on competition and data protection. Its full objectives are set out here

  • The DRCF has placed a strong emphasis on stakeholder engagement. It mentions strengthening wider stakeholder engagement and seeking to build better clarity for stakeholders, including through collective engagement

  • The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been an observer member of the DRCF since the outset and will also join as a full member from April 2021. Additionally, the DRCF will work closely with other regulators, including the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

You can find the full workplan here

The DRCF are inviting comments and discussion on the plan and priorities for the year ahead. These should be submitted to DRCF@ofcom.org.uk 

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IAB UK

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