Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF)
The CMA, the ICO, the FCA and Ofcom have together formed the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) – to work together on areas of mutual importance in regulating online services.
This forum strengthens existing collaboration and coordination between the four regulators. It aims to harness our collective expertise when data, privacy, competition, communications and content interact.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Update 25 November 2022: Joint Ofcom-ICO statement on online safety and data protection
Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office 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.
Age assurance is a complex area with technology developing rapidly. This technical study on age assurance technologies, commissioned by the ICO and Ofcom, aims to enhance our understanding of this area and build on our commitment to developing an aligned approach to age assurance. The report provides insight into measuring the accuracy levels achievable by different age assurance solutions, and prompts further thinking on how to measure their overall effectiveness.
The ICO and Ofcom have commissioned research to understand what attitudes families have towards age assurance.
Age assurance refers to a number of measures that would allow organisations to prevent children from accessing services which are inappropriate for their age, and also to tailor services to suit their developmental needs. This is an area that interests both the ICO and Ofcom: age assurance products that comply with data protection legislation and meet further online safety objectives will help to deliver a stronger, more positive outcome for children online.
|Report (PDF, 1.3 MB)||11 October 2022|
|Annex 1: In-home interviews (PDF, 821.1 KB)||11 October 2022|
|Annex 2: Focus groups (PDF, 487.4 KB)||11 October 2022|
|Annex 3: Revealing Reality safeguarding and ethics policy (PDF, 243.7 KB)||11 October 2022|
In April 2022, the DRCF launched a call for input exercise to gather stakeholder feedback on the two papers we published on algorithmic processing. This resulted in 31 responses, with submissions from stakeholders in the public, private and third sectors, and from both large and small organisations. A summary of these responses can be found here.
We will use the feedback gathered through this exercise to inform the next stage of the DRCF project on algorithmic processing, as well as relevant work across the individual regulators.
Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have today set out how the two regulators will work together to carry out their safety and competition duties in ways that create the greatest possible benefit for UK consumers and citizens. It is part of a programme of work to support wider co-operation among digital regulators under the DRCF.
In April 2021, the DCMS Secretary of State asked the CMA to work with Ofcom to look specifically at how a code of conduct, proposed as part of the new pro-competition regime for digital markets, would govern the relationships between platforms and content providers such as news publishers. This code aimed to ensure the terms on which platforms and publishers trade are fair and reasonable. The CMA and Ofcom provided this advice to DCMS in November 2021.
Findings from the DRCF Algorithmic Processing workstream - Spring 2022
The DRCF Algorithmic Processing workstream has published two discussion papers on the benefits and harms of algorithms, and on the landscape of algorithmic auditing and the role of regulators, respectively.
Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum annual report 2021/22 and annual plan 2022/23
The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) has set out its workplan for 2022/23. This plan includes projects that will help to tackle significant digital challenges, including:
- Protecting children online
- Promoting competition and privacy in online advertising
- Supporting improvements in algorithmic transparency
- Enabling innovation in the industries we regulate
The first annual report from the DRCF explains how we now routinely share knowledge and skills, pool resources and work together in identifying important industry trends and innovations.
The DRCF has launched a technology horizon scanning programme, to provide a coherent view of new and emerging digital markets and technologies.
Our immediate priorities are to:
- make it easier for people find DRCF members’ digital research;
- jointly engage with UK SMEs and tech start-up communities and academia; and
- accelerate our knowledge building in new or rapidly development technologies and markets.
To gain the widest possible range of views, we are launching an ‘always open’ line of communication through a new email mailbox: JoiningUpOnFutureTech@ofcom.org.uk.
Read about our approach and how to get involved.