The Data Brief

A monthly data protection bulletin from the barristers at 5 Essex Chambers

CMA and ICO joint statement on competition and data protection law

2 June 2021

In this paper the CMA and ICO set out their ambition to ensure that their regulatory approaches work together to support the development of the UK’s digital economy. The two regulators say that they do not accept that the objectives of competition and data protection law are in opposition, describing them as “complementary agendas” which are “mutually reinforcing”.

In the joint statement is a reminder that the ICO views data protection legislation as “an enabler for fair and proportionate data sharing, rather than a blocker”. Therefore, although there may be a perceived tension between the two regimes, the joint statement explains that one actually supports the other. For example, one type of pro-competitve intervention in the armoury of the CMA is to mandate third party access to data (such as requiring Google to share click and query data with other search engines, as was considered in the CMA’s July 2020 Market Study report). Rather than prohibiting the sharing of such personal data, the ICO believes that data protection legislation provides a framework by which such interventions may be carried out lawfully, whilst safeguarding individual rights and ensuring that the processing of personal data is fair, transparent and lawful.

Further reading

Memorandum of understanding

Joint statement

The Data Brief

A monthly data protection bulletin from the barristers at 5 Essex Chambers

The Data Brief is edited by Francesca Whitelaw KC, Aaron Moss and John Goss, barristers at 5 Essex Chambers, with contributions from the whole information law, data protection and AI Team.

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