Internet Regulation Services

The explosive global growth in digital communication and commerce during the last quarter of a century has fundamentally and permanently changed the way the world works, learns, plays and thinks. The Internet has created enormous societal, individual and corporate value – but until recently it has outpaced policymakers' ability to create effective and consistent regulatory frameworks to govern the various challenges that exist online. New waves of regulation are coming from governments around the world which will require a profound and thoughtful response from Internet Companies and the opportunity to drive towards compliance as a competitive advantage.

What is Internet Regulation?

Policymakers understand that alongside the profound societal, individual and corporate benefits of the online revolution, there is also the potential for the Internet to be exploited by bad actors. For example at a national level we see political interference, misinformation and the enabling of terrorism and at a personal level the misuse of data, and cyber-harassment and the associated impact on mental health.

A formal definition for 'Internet Regulation' doesn’t yet exist. However, one way to view it is the response taken by policymakers to put in place appropriate safeguards for the Internet. Safeguards such that the Internet can be continued to be used for its positive uses whilst reducing the inherent and systematic risks that have become the by-product of a global connected network. These safeguards fall into 12 Key Topic Areas:

For more details on each of these topics and to keep up to date with trends across each topic please visit our Internet Brief page where you can sign up for monthly emails to update you on global developments impacting the Internet.

Why do people think the Internet needs to be regulated?

"In the last 40 years there has been an explosion of digital communications enabled by the Internet. From bulletin boards and blogs, to social networks, to video streaming apps and endless comment threads, we all use the internet to work, learn, plan and live many other parts of our lives.

"But as the world has become connected, we're facing the same challenges we see in the real world - with harmful and antisocial behaviour, political misinformation and crime - but now unconstrained by national borders and able to spread instantly and affect many more people. Naturally, policymakers are looking to ensure that the Internet is a safe and open space for everyone."

Nick Seeber, Internet Regulation Lead Partner Deloitte UK

What organisations are governments looking to regulate?

Whilst the 'Big Tech' organisations of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are the primary intended targets of much of the new wave of regulation, there are many more digital native companies that will also be implicated. A useful way to view this is to consider the different Internet archetypes that exist:

Additionally, the reach of digital businesses and the implications of Internet Regulation goes beyond the world of 'Big Tech'. Companies such as utilities, healthcare providers, retailers and manufacturers are all evolving new business models that place as much reliance on customer and business environment data as any Internet Company.

What are the key principles of Internet Regulation?

Over the last few years, some landmark Internet regulations, primarily in Europe, have become household names (e.g. the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the upcoming EU Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts). However, there are in fact a huge number of Internet regulations globally that touch upon one or more of the topics listed above with varying levels of requirements, clarity and alignment.

However, when you look into the detail of these regulations it is becoming clear that that jurisdictions and regulations across the Globe are converging on the key principles of trust, safety and competition across all regulatory topics. Organisations would be well placed focussing on a proactive and holistic approach to these concepts, rather than addressing the individual regulations in a siloed and one-off exercise.

For a timeline view of recent regulatory developments please visit our Internet Brief page where you can sign up for monthly emails to update you on global developments impacting the Internet.



Why should companies comply with Internet Regulation?

Failing to respond to this regulatory shift could have enormous strategic, financial, reputational, legal and operational impacts on Internet Companies as well as other companies that may fall under their scope.

Many of the organisations that will be impacted by these regulations have typically focused on growth: products, users and usage, content, channel partnerships and enabling IP and talent. But in a more highly regulated environment, the challenges of governance, compliance, accountability and trust will need to be more prominent.

There are however many benefits to complying with these regulations ranging from increased trust from customers, the ability to scale at speed safely and simplifying compliance so that more time can be spent on innovation and growth.

We believe that a once-in-an-era opportunity for competitive advantage presents itself for those organisations who can use their innovation skills to meet these compliance challenges.

How can Deloitte support you in your journey to compliance?

Deloitte helps companies to respond to Internet Regulation at a global level and deliver holistic risk-aligned and tech-enabled compliance.

Our team of experts brings together legal and regulatory expertise, technological innovations, and comprehensive solutions to help you understand the complex domain of Internet Regulation using our Internet Regulation Methodology, which includes the design and implementation of the following:

Internet Regulation Operating Model

Designing and implementing an integrated compliance operating model ensures programme activities are connected across the organisation allowing teams to work cohesively and breakdown silos currently impacting effective and strategic compliance.

  • Our Risk Advisory and Consulting teams can support in the design and implementation of Trust & Safety functions and required operational capabilities, such as Platform Safety, Quality of Experience, Identify & Behaviour, Data, Compliance and Privacy, and Fraud & Product Integrity.

Internet Regulation Compliance Processes

Designing and implementing integrated regulatory compliance processes and capabilities to ensure a holistic and effective approach to regulation, risk and compliance is taken across jurisdictions, products and services.

  • Our Risk Advisory team can support on the end-to-end compliance process, including designing, implementing and embedding risk assessment and supporting methodology, process, tools and templates for regulatory compliance.
  • Our Deloitte Legal team is able to advise on new Internet regulations and their implications, stand-up legally compliant Internet offerings and processes required by regulation and to act for you in regulatory/dispute matters, supporting your Legal functions as they grapple with the wave of change.
  • Our Economic Advisory team is able to advise on the strategic impact of regulations.
  • Our Deloitte Reputation, Crisis and Resilience (RCR) team is able to support with crisis communication strategies, crisis management and resiliency planning.

Technology Enablement

Managing an integrated compliance model across multiple regulations and jurisdictions is now too complex an activity to rely on spreadsheets and other locally held files. Technology is required to support a consistent approach to compliance across the organisation, enforce roles, responsibility and accountability and increase the ability to audit and provide assurance over regulatory compliance.

  • Deloitte has an ecosystem of technology which can be used to identify, deploy, manage and monitor compliance with increasing regulatory requirements. The solutions are designed and configured around business processes, starting with user requirements, to ensure the solution is what the business wants and needs and enhances an organisation’s function and processes.

The key elements that make up a holistic Internet Regulation Framework are shown in the diagram below.

Key contact

Nick Seeber

Nick Seeber


Nick leads Deloitte’s global Internet Regulation offering, established to help clients respond to the strategic, practical and operational challenges presented by new rules for the Internet. These law... More

Joanna (Joey) Conway

Joanna (Joey) Conway


Joey is a partner in Deloitte’s UK legal team. She has over 15 years experience advising clients in the tech sector. She is an expert in digital risks and internet law and regulation. She advises on c... More

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