DPA Submission: House of Lords Inquiry on Digital Platforms

On 23rd October 2015, the DPA submitted a response to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union (Internal Market Sub-Committee) Call for Evidence on Online Platforms and the EU Digital Single Market

Update - 22nd April 2016:

The House of Lords report on Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market, published on 20th April, can be viewed at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201516/ldselect/ldeucom/129/129.pdf.

A particular point of relevance is the statement: "We conclude that determining whether a firm possesses substantial market power, or is abusing that power, requires meticulous case-by-case analysis.  On this basis we advise against the creation of a platform-specific regulatory regime.  Instead, to protect consumers and to ensure that market power is not abused, we recommend that existing regulators should be vigilant in these markets.  We also considered three areas of existing regulation and suggested a number of adaptations to each".

The Report also suggests the adoption of codes of practice and refers to regulatory fragmentation, while noting that "Consumers seem to be unaware that they trade their personal data in exchange for access to many of the so-called ‘free services’ that online platforms provide".

Input from both the DPA and Skyscape is acknowledged and referenced.