The Policy Download

This is the ninth issue of The Policy Download. It goes out weekly on a Friday and sums up the interesting and important things in digital and creative industries policy, politics and regulation. Mostly it'll focus on the UK.

Have you been forwarded this issue? Sign up here.
Interesting things this week 
Online harms impartiality (link - £) - The Government are considering imposing a 'duty of impartiality' on some tech businesses. I'd like to try and be a bit constructive but this is just totally and utterly bonkers. The Government's forthcoming online harms legislation is becoming a basket into which anything and everything that people don't like is being thrown. Including, seemingly, other political views. Moderate content, just not in a way we don't like. I imagine this will be killed before the Government publishes its full online harms response and associated legislation. But still, my thoughts and prayers with the Bill team in DCMS: good luck getting something through amendments that the Government can live with. 

Government acts responsibly with data (link) - Just kidding. DWP left thousands of people's personal data on a publicly accessible site for years. Good news then that the Government is in the process of consulting on its National Data Strategy. (My team at Taso Advisory wrote a summary of the strategy here.) I just checked and it turns out there's nothing in there on not putting claimant data on the web... More seriously - it should be a reminder to the Government that they are making rules that they struggle to stick to: what do they expect from small businesses and charities?  

Take(two) over bid (link) - US games business Take-Two Interactive Software offered to buy racing sim maker Codemasters for c. £726mm. They are - obviously - a smaller business than ARM by a lot. But it is none the less a leading UK business in a particular sector being gobbled up by a bigger US company. I expect we will see none of the concern about the weakening of the UK we saw for ARM. 

Best headline of the week... (link) - Er...guys?
Consultations to note
Economics of music streaming - DCMS Select Committee (link) - opened 15/10/20, closing 16/11/20. 

Loot boxes in video games - DCMS (link) - opened 23/09/20, closing 22/11/20.

Artificial intelligence and intellectual property - Intellectual Property Office (link) - opened 07/09/20, closing 30/11/20.

National Data Strategy - DCMS (link) - opened 09/09/20, closing 02/12/20.

The future of UK music festivals - DCMS Select Committee (link) - opened 06/11/20, closing 09/12/20.

Living online: the long-term impact on wellbeing - COVID-19 Committee (link) - opened 28/10/20, closing 11/12/20. 

Total restriction of online advertising for products high in fat, sugar and salt (HFSS)
- DCMS (link) - opened 10/11/20, closing 22/12/20.

Digital Strategy for Scotland - Scottish Government (link) - opened 30/09/20, closing 23/12/20. 

Ads for in-game purchasing - Committee of Advertising Practice (link) - opened 05/11/20, closing 28/01/21.
Next week

A quiet week again in the House. We'll miss it when Government gets on with online harms. Literally the only fun day for us is Tuesday, so...

...on Tuesday the DCMS Select Committee are taking more evidence on the future of public service broadcasting from universities, trade body PACT and B Inclusive Task Force. Damian Collins (formerly of the Select Committee) has a question at Health orals on tackling anti-vaccination misinformation online. The Lords COVID-19 Committee are taking evidence on the long-term impact on wellbeing of living online from Benedict Evans, PUBLIC, The Alan Turing Institute and Tech Nation.  

Also - I'm moderating a session for ESI Digital Winter on the value of major esports events to local economies. The session is on 18/11/20 at 13.15. You can sign up here and use ESISPEAKER for 25% off. 
Did you like this issue of The Policy Download? Why not subscribe to receive it again and share it with your friends and colleagues.
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
The author
Ben Greenstone is the author of The Policy Download. During the day, Ben is a director at Taso Advisory, a public policy consultancy. Before this, Ben was an adviser to UK government ministers, including two ministers with responsibility for digital and the creative industries. You can get in touch with Ben at or, depending on what you're after. Ben tweets at @ben_greenstone.
Copyright © 2020 The Policy Download, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.