Discussion paper

The paper considers developments in the use of Regulatory Technology (RegTech), including its application in the communications and media sector. This research is intended to ensure the ACMA, as Australia’s communication and media regulator, is aware of current and emerging developments.

The paper explores the use of RegTech, some of the main use cases from compliance, regulatory reporting processes, risk management and identity and control processes. The paper identifies the benefits and risks of RegTech and the conditions where RegTech is likely to offer the greatest benefit, particularly where the regulatory environment is complex and technology can make better use of data to achieve compliance goals. However, RegTech is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and a range of factors from interoperability, data protection, privacy and environmental factors need to be considered.

Regulations are an essential part of the economy and society. They underpin markets, protect the rights and safety of consumers and ensure the delivery of services. Digital technologies are continuing to drive new ways of doing business. Regulatory landscapes are also continuing to adapt and evolve in response to digital transformation and changing market conditions.

In this context, organisations and regulators are turning to new technologies to find ways to improve productivity and increase compliance while reducing regulatory costs. Digital technologies are being deployed by industry and regulators due to their ability to complete mechanical tasks more efficiently and accurately, and, in some cases, more completely than humans. While regulatory technologies applications are designed to help support decision-making, RegTech applications still require human oversight. This convergence between disruptive technologies, evolving market environments and increasingly complex regulatory landscapes is seeing new RegTech emerge. RegTech has the potential to improve traditional regulatory practices for regulators and regulated entities.

RegTech solutions can be applied across a range of different industries to help support businesses, consumers and regulators to meet current and emerging regulatory challenges. Within the media and communications environment, we are observing that some international regulators are exploring the potential benefits of RegTech.

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