The ICO and the CMA yesterday released a joint statement setting out their shared views on the relationship between competition and data protection in digital markets, as well as an updated memorandum of understanding on their cooperation. The joint statement describes the role of data in the digital economy and discusses the synergies and tensions that exist in this area between competition and data protection. The MOU focuses particularly on the ability of each authority to share information with the other to assist in carrying out its functions. In addition, each authority may offer advice to the other in its areas of competence, and will notify the other if it becomes aware of potential breaches of legislation for which the other is responsible.
This development reflects the converging (although sometimes conflicting) agendas of competition and data protection authorities in digital markets, and their increasing cooperation in tackling perceived problems. The ICO and the CMA are already collaborating on a number projects, including the ICO's ongoing investigation into adtech and real-time bidding.
In our increasingly digital world the links between data protection, competition and consumer rights regulation make our joint work timely and important.