Insights Government publishes policy paper on Digital Regulation: Driving growth and unlocking innovation

The Plan for Digital Regulation sets out the Government’s overall vision for governing digital technologies. It sets out new principles which will guide how it designs and implements the regulation of digital technologies as well as some practical proposals for how it will ensure a more coherent and streamlined regulatory landscape. The Government says that innovation is at the heart of the plan. It wants to encourage it so that tech is used as an engine for growth to create competitive and dynamic digital markets.

The new plan sets out three guiding principles policymakers must follow, and states that the Government should only regulate when absolutely necessary and do so in a proportionate way. They should:

  • actively promote innovation: policymakers must back innovation wherever they can by removing unnecessary regulation and burdens and considering non-regulatory measures such as technical standards first;
  • achieve “forward-looking and coherent outcomes”: digital technologies are evolving fast and transforming traditional sectors across the economy, so policymakers must make sure that new regulation complements, rather than contradicts, existing and planned legislation; and
  • exploit opportunities and address challenges in the international arena: digital technologies are borderless, and policymakers must take a global view; they must always consider the international dynamics of proposed regulation, from existing international obligations (including trade deals), expected future agreements, and the impact of regulations developed by other nations.

To support the delivery of a joined-up approach to regulation, the Government says that it is working closely with the recently established Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF). The plan sets out practical proposals to support a more streamlined regulatory landscape, including options to improve information sharing between regulators to reduce duplicate requests on industry and looking at whether additional duties for digital regulators to consult and cooperate with each other are needed.

To read the Government’s press release in full and for a link to the Digital Regulation Plan, click here.