The ICO and the CMA released a joint statement yesterday setting out their shared views on the relationship between competition and privacy in digital markets, as well as an updated memorandum of understanding on their collaboration. The joint statement describes the role of data in the digital economy and discusses the synergies and tensions that exist between competition and data protection in this area. Specifically, the memorandum of understanding focuses on the ability of each agency to share information with the other to assist in the performance of their duties. In addition, each authority can advise the other in its areas of responsibility and notify the other if it becomes aware of potential violations of the law for which the other is responsible.
This evolution reflects the converging (albeit sometimes contradicting) agendas of competition and data protection authorities in digital markets and their increasing collaboration in addressing the perceived issues. The ICO and CMA are already working together on a number of projects, including the ICO’s ongoing investigation into adtech and real-time bidding.
In our increasingly digital world, the connections between data protection, competition and consumer rights regulation make our joint work timely and important.