The sharing of competitive data does not include the user’s personal information, says the minister.

Potential data sharing between tech giants and small businesses under the UK Government’s upcoming digital competition law needs to respect people’s privacy and be “reasonable and proportional” [and] According to Digital Minister Chris Philp, it is necessary to promote fair competition.

May 6, 2022, The government has announced that it will give statutory authority to the Digital Market Unit (DMU). Implement a “competition promotion” regime under future digital markets, competition and consumer bills.

DMUs are empowered to intervene in the root causes of market dominance, including forcing companies with “strategic market status” (which is expected to include Meta, Google, Amazon, Apple, etc.) to share data. … apparently … It limits the competitive advantage of small competitors and thereby large companies.

However, the exact requirements for large technology companies have not yet been defined. The government has stated that it will occur when the law is introduced into parliament, but there is no firm schedule for this yet.

Philp spoke to members of the industry group TechUK on May 12 about the direction of the law, and compulsory data sharing applies only to “specific areas” where the DMU has identified a hindrance to competition, individuals. He revealed that he does not think it applies to the information technology giant. Holds the user.

“Facebook doesn’t have to hand over the entire database to anyone who requests it … for a variety of reasons, including privacy,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a target, so if the DMU identifies an area where retaining data in a particular area is hindering competition, it will be deselected in a very targeted way.

“By doing so, they need to make sure it is rational and proportional. [and] You should consider those questions on a case-by-case basis as they are necessary to promote fair competition and do not invade your privacy. “

Philp didn’t elaborate on the types of data that tech giants expect to hand over, but future digital competition law will be more about whether consumers will be monitored. He added that he also aims to empower consumers by giving them choices. It is based on the business model of many companies with strategic market status.

“They have all the data vaults you’ve ever done, thought about, or clicked on. The question is whether there should be user empowerment that allows you to better choose whether that happens to you. There is, “he added. Consumer choices about how data is used are a fundamental aspect of the law.

Philp also added that, in addition to compelling interoperability and consumer choice, compelling companies to open up data access “to prevent position in the dominant market from becoming an issue. Instead of trying to fix it, it will form part of the DMU’s preemptive intervention capabilities. ” After the event “.

Neil Ross, TechUK’s Associate Director of Policy, representing more than 850 UK technology companies, told Computer Weekly: deal with”.

He added: “As the formal strategic market status specification process and code of conduct design progress, a clearer picture of what data will be shared will be revealed. This will be the DMU’s broader discussion with the industry. You will also be notified by your requirements. “

Philp said the revenue threshold to be included is very high, as to which companies are given strategic market status, so that they only affect “very large companies”. Added that he expects to have “substantially less than 10” companies. ..

The establishment of a new digital market regulator was one of the recommendations of the March 2019 Farmer Report. Unlock digital competitionSays that it is necessary to establish a watchdog with technology, economics and behavioral science skills in order to present the “rules of the game” to companies in this sector.

later Survey by the Competition and Markets Authority In July 2020, we discovered that the lack of competition across the UK digital market not only prevented consumers from accessing new services, but also directly harmed SMEs. ..

“We believe that the balance of control over consumer data is too much for the platform,” he said. “Consumers value privacy and want to manage their data, but many social media platforms don’t allow consumers to turn off personalized advertising. Platforms that offer choices. Uses the default and choice architecture, which makes it difficult for consumers to exercise this choice. “ The sharing of competitive data does not include the user’s personal information, says the minister.

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