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Dutch regulators strengthen oversight of digital activities by intensifying cooperation

The Dutch Data Protection Authority (AP), the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), the Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM), and the Dutch Media Authority (CvdM) will work together more closely in order to strengthen oversight of digital and online activities. That is why they have launched the Digital Regulation Cooperation Platform (SDT).

‘Dutch society is one of the most digitalized in Europe. In our digital online world, protection of personal data, consumer protection, the integrity of digital content, and competition are much more intertwined than before’, says Aleid Wolfsen, Chairman of the Board of AP.

‘So the different regulators encounter each other much sooner when carrying out their duties. Furthermore, new European rules may result in obligations for businesses, which will have consequences for multiple regulators. Cooperation is thus of vital importance.’

Coherent and coordinated approach

‘The digital landscape is evolving rapidly, and it shapes, to an increasingly large extent, the way people work and live. It offers undeniable benefits to the economy and to society at large, but it also creates new questions and risks that require action from regulators’, says Martijn Snoep, Chairman of the Board of ACM.

‘A coherent and coordinated approach is needed in order to be able to respond effectively to the rapid pace of such new developments. That is in the interests of both users and providers of digital services.’

Clarity and predictability

‘It is imperative that regulators are fully aware of where exactly the public interests that we all protect are in line with each other or perhaps conflict. If we collectively coordinate our oversight duties, it will also create a certain level of clarity and predictability for businesses and consumers.'

'And also, I think that, by working together, we are able to use the knowledge and expertise of our experts as effectively as possible, which is immensely beneficial’, adds Chairwoman Renate Eringa-Wensing of the CvdM.

Digitalization of financial markets

‘For quite some time already, the AFM has paid special attention to the digitalization of the financial markets’, says Laura van Geest, Chair of the Executive Board of AFM.

‘We act effectively on those developments. One such example is using data from financial institutions in our oversight efforts in a structural manner. We see more and more new types of financial services emerging, which not only offer opportunities but also carry risks that impact each other’s oversight duties.'

'That is the context in which today’s announcement of the intensification of our cooperation with other regulators comes, in addition to the various international networks in which the AFM plays a role. We are looking forward to sharing our experiences within this cooperation platform, and also to learning from the other regulators.’

Digital Regulation Cooperation Platform

Within the Digital Regulation Cooperation Platform (SDT), the participating regulators will exchange knowledge and experiences gained from their day-to-day oversight activities in areas such as artificial intelligence, algorithms, data processing, online design, personalization, manipulation, and misleading practices.

In addition, they will make joint investments in knowledge, expertise, and skills. Also, the participating regulators will explore where they are able to strengthen each other’s work in enforcement procedures, for example, by dealing with digital market problems collectively.