HomeInsightsDigital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) publishes annual report 2021/2022, workplan 2022/2023, and a call for input on algorithms

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The DRCF comprises the Information Commissioner’s Office, Ofcom, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority. It was set up to coordinate regulation of the UK’s digital services.

The DRCF’s annual report for 2021/2022 explains how the organisations have shared knowledge and skills, pooled resources and worked together in identifying important industry trends and innovations.

The DRCF workplan for 2022/23, includes the following projects:

  • protecting children online: improving outcomes for children and parents by ensuring the privacy and online safety protections overseen by the ICO and Ofcom working together;
  • promoting competition and privacy in online advertising: fostering competitive online advertising markets that deliver innovation and economic growth, while respecting consumer and data protection rights, via joint ICO and CMA work;
  • supporting improvements in algorithmic transparency: supporting the use of algorithmic processing to promote its benefits and mitigate the risks to people and to competition by exploring ways of improving algorithmic transparency and auditing; and
  • enabling innovation in the industries regulated by DRCF: encouraging responsible innovation and exploring different models for how the DRCF works with industry to support innovation.

The DRCF has also published two discussion papers from its Algorithmic Processing workstream, exploring the impact of algorithms across the industries it regulates. The first looks at the harms and benefits posed by algorithmic processing (including the use of artificial intelligence), and the second looks at the merits of algorithmic auditing, as a way of documenting risks and assuring stakeholders that an algorithmic system behaves and is governed as intended.

As outlined in its workplan for 2022/2023, the DRCF intends to undertake further analysis in the field of algorithmic processing, looking more closely at how regulators might support algorithmic transparency and the role that regulators might play in the algorithmic auditing ecosystem. To help shape the agenda, the DRCF has launched a call for input from all interested parties on the two discussion papers. The deadline for responses is 8 June 2022. To access all relevant documents, click here.