UK business body calls for a digital economy regulator
Britain’s Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for a new, independent regulator that can play “a crucial role in building trust in the digital economy”. It says that current proposals risk falling short of the UK government’s ambition to be the best and safest place to build a digital business. In a white paper, the CBI sets out a five-point plan for creating “world-leading” internet regulation which includes backing a new, independent regulator as part of Ofcom, the current telecoms and media regulator; providing clear rules to follow (greater clarity on definitions, legal responsibilities and scope); drawing up enforcement measures which are both proportionate and feasible; joining up government initiatives on tech policy and regulation; and enhancing digital literacy across business and the wider UK public.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general said: “The UK has a unique opportunity to set out a world-leading approach to internet regulation. We can be the international yardstick for how best to protect people from harm online, while also supporting the UK’s flourishing digital economy. While the UK leads its digital competitors, it cannot rest on its laurels. Major regulatory interventions must be internationally workable and sought after by the rest of the world. After speaking to businesses across the country, from start-ups to multinationals, it’s clear [current proposals] fall short and can be improved. For example, the duty of care should focus on illegal harmful content and re-examine proposals for legal but harmful issues.” She added: “Ofcom can be the home for the new regulator, but for it to be successful it must be independent, properly resourced and equipped with the right expertise. Both government and industry should have the responsibility for funding the new regulator; the government cannot outsource its responsibility to build public trust and keep its citizens safe.”
- Tuesday, 16 July 2019