Digital regulation has advanced steadily in the European Union. The EU has completed major legislation to promote competition among large digital platforms (Digital Markets Act), to address illegal material disseminated on social media (Digital Services Act), and to comprehensively regulate artificial intelligence (Artificial Intelligence Act). These measures join the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to form a wide-ranging legislative response to some of the major policy challenges of the digital age. The EU’s new laws concentrate on strengthening the Commission’s regulatory role at the expense of member state authorities, but they do not articulate an overall digital governance scheme.
Although the United States cannot boast of similar legislative accomplishments in the areas of competition, content moderation, AI, or privacy, ongoing robust debate in Congress on these subjects offers a potential foundation for future legislation. A new book by Mark MacCarthy of the Brookings Institution, Regulating Digital Industries: How Public Oversight Can Encourage Competition, Protect Privacy, and Ensure Free Speech, suggests that the United States empower a dedicated industry regulator – likely the Federal Trade Commission – to develop, implement and enforce digital rules in a coordinated way. The United Kingdom has taken a similar step by creating a Digital Regulatory Cooperation Forum, in which the competition, content, and privacy regulators participate.
Senior experts from the United States and the United Kingdom discuss how governments can structure coherent responses to overlapping digital regulatory policy issues and authorities.
ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 01/22/2024