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The Competition and Market Authority publishes a report on online platforms and digital advertising

The Competition and Markets Authority ('CMA') published, on 1 July 2020, its final market study report ('the Report') on online platforms and digital advertising. In particular, the Report assesses how well the markets for search, social media, and digital advertising are working, and the role of Google and Facebook within them. Specifically, the Report outlines concerns relating to limited choice and competition, including the fact that consumers receive inadequate compensation for the use of their personal data by online platforms, and are less able to control or understand how their personal data are used and may effectively be faced with a 'take it or leave it' offer when it comes to signing up to platforms' terms and conditions and privacy policies, thus potentially providing more personal data to platforms than they would like.


The Competition and Markets Authority ('CMA') published, on 1 July 2020, its final market study report ('the Report') on online platforms and digital advertising. In particular, the report assesses how well the markets for search, social media, and digital advertising are working, and the role of Google and Facebook within them. Specifically, the Report outlines concerns relating to limited choice and competition, including the fact that consumers receive inadequate compensation for the use of their personal data by online platforms, and are less able to control or understand how their personal data are used and may effectively be faced with a 'take it or leave it' offer when it comes to signing up to platforms' terms and conditions and privacy policies, thus potentially providing more personal data to platforms than they would like.) on issues relating to the intersection of competition and data protection.


The ICO issued has now issued a statement on the CMA's Report, highlighting that giving people control over their data is vital to data protection law and noting that it looks forward to working with the CMA and the Office of Communications ('Ofcom') through the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum and the Digital Markets Taskforce, by contributing its expertise in data protection and ePrivacy rules.


Simon McDougall, Executive Director for Technology and Innovation, said:


"As data becomes ever more central to business models, the interaction between data protection and competition regulation increases. The competition and Markets Authority's (CMA) Market study highlights the cross regulatory issues that arise in today's digital landscape. We have welcomed the chance to contribute to this important work.


"Giving people control over what happens to their personal data is central to data protection law in the UK and is also a vital element of consumer protection. Our joint engagement will bring benefits to business and consumers alike."


"We look forward to working with the CMA and Of com through the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum and the digital Markets Taskforce, by contributing our expertise in data protection and e-privacy regulation to these important initiatives."


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