Government says that “Innovation is at the heart of this Plan. We want to encourage it wherever we can, so that we can use tech as an engine for growth”
The UK government is consulting on its Plan for Digital Regulation to reduce red tape with the aim being to foster innovation. The government’s vision is for pro-innovation regulation of digital technologies while minimising serious harms to the UK’s economy, security and society.
The new plan sets out three guiding principles policymakers must follow and states that the government should only regulate when absolutely necessary and then only in a proportionate way. Policymakers should:
The government says that digital technologies require distinctive regulation because they have distinctive features including the following:
The plan comes ahead of the Online Safety Bill being introduced into Parliament, the development of a pro-growth data regime and a consultation on a new pro-competition regime for digital markets. The reference to a new data regime is significant, given the UK has only just been granted adequacy by the EU, and only for four years on the understanding that its rules do not diverge from the EU’s.
The government has also indicated that it will be launching a wide-ranging consultation on online advertising in the autumn. It will look at fraudulent and scam advertising, as well as other forms of potentially harmful or misleading online advertising.
In addition, it highlights its plans for legislation on cyber-security, including connected devices, regulation of advertising of products high in fat, sugar and salt; and digital imprints in election material.
The consultation on the Digital Plan ends on 28 September 2021.