All change for UK data protection – again

We had been expecting the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill to resume its journey through parliament, as previously reported, but it seems the government now has other plans.

At the Conservative Party conference, Michelle Donelan (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) said

We inherited GDPR from the EU, and its bureaucratic nature is still limiting the potential of our businesses. So much so that researchers at Oxford University estimated that it has directly caused businesses to lose over 8% of their profits. In a survey by my Department, 50% of businesses told us that the EU’s mainly one-size-fits-all GDPR scheme, had led to excessive caution amongst staff in the handling of data. We’ve even had churches write to the department, pleading for us to do something, so that they can send newsletters out to their communities without worrying about breaching data rules.

She went on to announce that the government will be replacing (UK) GDPR with a new “business and consumer-friendly, British data protection system” with the aim of protecting consumer privacy and keep data safe, whilst retaining our data adequacy, so businesses can trade freely.

Leaving aside some of the assertions that could be questioned, and rhetoric clearly made with the audience in mind, it seems that the progress of the current draft Data Protection and Digital Information Bill will be halted, whilst this new approach is worked through. Let’s just hope that adequacy with the EU can be maintained, and that it isn’t just ‘change for changes sake’.

No timetable has been given, but it could be a while, and so our recommendation is to make sure you can demonstrate compliance with the data protection regulations that are in force now, and this should mean you are best placed to adapt to any changes. If you would like to learn how our Data Protection and Privacy Notice review can help you do just that, you are welcome to get in touch in any of the normal ways, use or by booking a 20-minute insight call at (for TinoPai members, but it’s free to join and you get lots of other benefits including free live and on-demand webinars).