Four of Australia’s key regulators have joined forces to form the Digital Platform Regulators Forum (DP-REG) in an effort to coordinate the regulation of digital platforms and to share information about their approach to issues that cut across the jurisdictional divide.
The DP-REG consists of the following regulators, each of whom plays a critical role in the regulation of digital platforms:
The DP-REG has announced their intention to collaborate on the regulation of digital platforms and to share information about their respective regulatory frameworks to enhance their individual regulatory capabilities.
Each member of the DP-REG has oversight over a different element of the digital sphere and the relevant aspects of its intrusion into the personal sphere of individuals. Many topical concerns regarding the conduct of digital platforms cut across those individual jurisdictions. This collaboration reflects a broader effort to streamline overlapping regulation and reduce duplication.
For example, while the collection, use and disclosure of personal information falls traditionally within the jurisdiction of the OAIC, the ACCC has recently relied on its consumer law jurisdiction to take action against both Google and Facebook regarding misleading and deceptive representations about the collection and use of user data.
The ACMA and the eSafety Commissioner also share oversight of the content that is made available online. The eSafety Commissioner recently assumed the ACMA’s responsibility to regulate inappropriate or harmful content and take action in relation to online abuse and harassment.
The voluntary collaboration by the members of the DP-REG is encouraging and demonstrates an awareness by the regulators of the convergence of many traditionally separate spheres of influence arising from the ubiquitous role of technology. In the current environment, there is considerable overlap between their respective portfolios.
On the other hand, this does suggest the need for more formal guidance or regulation to clarify the process for resolving any jurisdictional overlaps, and facilitating more collaboration to ultimately benefit individuals from better-informed and coordinated regulatory approaches.
Authors: Lyn Nicholson & Clare Giugni
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