Report examines the scope of the law concerning political campaigning and the current regulatory gaps in this area.
The Oxford Internet Institute’s Technology and Elections Commission (OxTEC) has published a report on political advertising. It examines the scope of the current law concerning political campaigning and the regulatory gaps in this area. The report also sets out a series of future recommendations for policymakers designed to improve the regulation of political campaigning in the digital age.
The report states that the Cambridge Analytica scandal has brought digital campaigning to the fore, particularly issues concerning how such campaigning should be regulated. The growth of digital campaigning has not been mirrored by a development in the legislation governing such campaigning, leading to legitimate fears of undue influence in democratic processes. There is no single regulator covering digital political campaigning (and the necessity of a single regulator is questionable). As a result, the report addresses the various legislative regimes in place and the various regulators that exist, including data protection, electoral rules and advertising laws.
The report makes the following recommendations:
At the same time, the House of Commons Library has published a briefing on political advertising. It provides an overview of the functions and remit of the Advertising Standards Authority and the current advertising regulatory system. It then considers in detail the rationale for the current exemption from regulation for political advertising.