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Role of regulators in the digital ecosystem

Today’s digital ecosystem is transforming citizens’ lives and boosting every sector of the economy. Such an ecosystem – comprised of digital infrastructures, platforms, applications, and ultimately users – is bringing countless benefits to the society and helping to build a better future for us all. It has become an essential means of improving the quality of life, reducing poverty, connecting the unconnected, and unlocking innovative solutions across multiple sectors.

However, in order to fully exploit these benefits, the digital ecosystem must be accompanied by an enabling policy and regulatory environment. Regulation and policy have experienced a significant transformation over the past decades, beginning with the liberalisation of markets. They then expanded to encompass ICTs that address new technologies and services enabled by the Internet. Currently, the magnetism between ICTs and the digital ecosystem is already a reality, leading policymakers and regulators to assess multiple regulatory and policy challenges arising from new digital technologies and services. The challenges to be addressed include online platforms, data privacy, cybersecurity, and competition, among others.

The remainder of this paper explores the main challenges to be overcome by regulators and policy makers in order to fully exploit the benefits of the new digital era.