On 7 September 2021 the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee launched an inquiry into the work of digital regulators in the UK.
The inquiry follows the Committee's report published in March 2019, which found that regulators had failed to keep up with advances in digital technologies and that the fragmentation of digital regulators led to both gaps and overlaps in regulation.
The Committee's vision for digital regulation is more holistic: rather than calling for more regulation, it advocates for greater co-ordination and pooling of existing resources to make horizon scanning more effective and digital regulation more coherent.
This comes after the publication of Government's draft Online Safety Bill (which seeks to promote safety online by making digital players more accountable for the content shared by users on their platforms) and the launch in July 2020 of the Digital Regulation Co-operation Forum (a co-operation forum of UK regulators with no statutory powers).
The Committee now wants to investigate how effective digital regulation really is and is seeking views on:
- How effective is digital regulators’ horizon scanning and how could it be improved?
- How effective is parliamentary oversight of digital regulation?
- How effectively do UK regulators co-operate with international partners?
- Are there strategic approaches to digital regulation in other countries from which the UK could learn?
The deadline for responses is Friday, 22 October 2021.
“We want to investigate the effectiveness of digital regulation at a time when regulators are expected to take on new powers.” (Lord Gilbert of Panteg)