The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and Ofcom have today set out how we will work together to ensure coherence between the data protection and the new online safety regimes.
Our joint statement builds on our existing cooperative approach to regulation – and on our close working relationship established as co-founders of the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum.
In anticipation of Ofcom taking on new duties in 2023 under the Online Safety Bill, the statement sets out our shared regulatory aims. We want:
- people who use online services to have confidence that their safety and privacy will be upheld and that we will take prompt and effective action when providers fail in their obligations; and
- providers of online services of all sizes to comply with their obligations and to continue to innovate and grow, supported by regulatory clarity and free from undue burden.
To achieve this, the ICO and Ofcom will work closely together to achieve maximum alignment and consistency between the data protection and online safety regimes. We will:
- maximise coherence by ensuring our policies are consistent with each other’s regulatory requirements – and consult closely when preparing codes and guidance. We will seek solutions that enhance users’ safety and preserve their privacy. Where there are tensions between privacy and safety objectives, we will provide clarity on how compliance can be achieved with both regimes; and
- promote compliance by setting clear expectations for industry on what they must do to meet both their online safety and data protection requirements. That includes particular support through the transition for small and emerging firms to help them thrive and grow. We will take action against services that don’t meet their obligations, sharing information and intelligence as appropriate and coordinating approaches to enforcement.