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Dutch regulatory authorities strengthen cooperation over regulation of digital activities

Out-Law News | 18 Oct 2021 | 1:20 pm | 1 min. read

Four Dutch regulatory authorities have launched a new platform and announced that they will cooperate more closely when monitoring online activities of businesses and organisations.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP) announced that it will exchange knowledge and experience via the new Digital Regulation Cooperation Platform with the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets and the Dutch Media Authority.

 

According to the AP, they will exchange information within the platform gained from their oversight activities in areas such as artificial intelligence, algorithms, data processing, online design, personalisation, manipulation, and misleading practices.

Data protection expert Wouter Seinen of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: "It is not the first time we have seen regulators making plans to operate in a more coordinated manner. This plan underlines the level of interest regulatory authorities have in digital developments and how keen they are to get their arms around artificial intelligence." 

The AP also announced that the four authorities will jointly invest in knowledge, expertise and skills and will explore if they can support each other, for example by tackling problems in the digital market together. The regulators thus hope to streamline their processes to be able to enforce the rules more effectively.

Aleid Wolfsen, chairman of the board of AP, said that new EU rules may result in additional obligations for businesses. This could cause more work for regulators, too. He believes cooperation will be of vital importance. He also said that in the digital world "protection of personal data, consumer protection, the integrity of digital content, and competition are much more intertwined than before".

Martijn Snoep, chairman of the board of ACM added that a coherent and coordinated approach was needed to respond effectively to the rapid pace of new developments in the digital landscape.

"The cooperation has no specific legal basis, which allows for flexibility but may also limit the effectiveness - in particular if there is no formal governance and the parties can only work on consensus basis," Seinen said. "Another challenge is that there does not seem to be additional budget - the request of the Dutch DPA to get its budget increased was recently denied by the government."