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The government has set out its plans to reform data protection rules following the UK’s exit from the EU, promising to protect consumers while creating opportunities to boost business through innovation.
The Data Reform Bill, set out in this year’s Queen’s Speech aims to bolster data protection standards in the UK, while reducing the bureaucratic burdens on businesses required under the Europe-wide GDPR rules which currently apply. The government estimates that businesses could be set for £1 billion in cost savings, while also supporting the £234 billion generated by data-driven trade.
The reforms will also fuel the responsible use of data for innovation by providing clearer definitions on how consent is obtained for research.
Plans will also see the UK regulator, the Wilmslow-based Information Commissioner’s Office, modernised and gain tougher powers to crack down on non-compliance.
Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said:
“Today is an important step in cementing post-Brexit Britain’s position as a science and tech superpower. Our new Data Reform Bill will make it easier for businesses and researchers to unlock the power of data to grow the economy and improve society, but retains our global gold standard for data protection.
“Outside of the EU we can ensure people can control their personal data, while preventing businesses, researchers and civil society from being held back by a lack of clarity and cumbersome EU legislation.2
John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner, said:
“I share and support the ambition of these reforms.
“I am pleased to see the government has taken our concerns about independence on board. Data protection law needs to give people confidence to share their information to use the products and services that power our economy and society. The proposed changes will ensure my office can continue to operate as a trusted, fair and impartial regulator, and enable us to be more flexible and target our action in response to the greatest harms.
“We look forward to continuing to work constructively with the government as the proposals are progressed and will continue to monitor how these reforms are expressed in the Bill.”