NEWS20 May 2021

CMA and ICO agree joint working

GDPR News Privacy Public Sector UK

UK – The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have committed to cooperating on regulatory decisions that benefit competition and data protection.

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In a joint statement, the ICO and CMA highlighted the strong overlap between promoting and protecting competition in digital markets and safeguarding people’s data.

The two regulators added that they would work together to make regulatory decisions that achieve good competition and data protection outcomes, and have updated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between both organisations.

The MOU will set out the scope for further collaboration between both regulators, including information sharing and the potential for joint projects.

The CMA and ICO are already working together on an investigation into Google’s proposals remove third party cookies from its Chrome browser, and the ICO’s investigation into real-time bidding in the adtech industry.

The CMA recently took on a Digital Markets Unit (DMU) as part of plans to increase competition online and give the public more control over their data.

Elizabeth Denham, information commissioner, said: “In our increasingly digital world the links between data protection, competition and consumer rights regulation make our joint work timely and important.

“We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the CMA to ensure people’s data is safeguarded and digital innovation and competition is supported.”

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “A well-functioning digital market needs to preserve privacy and offer competitive online services, empowering consumers.

“This statement clearly shows robust data protection can support vibrant competition in digital markets, and digital firms should not use data protection as an excuse for anticompetitive behaviour.”