On Tuesday, 23 May, UK Information Commissioner John Edwards delivered the opening remarks at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).
During the speech, Mr Edwards emphasised his personal commitment to protecting European citizens' data in the UK. Mr Edwards acknowledged the increasing importance of privacy and data protection in an increasingly interconnected world, and stressed the need for strong relationships and communication between data protection authorities across the globe. With respect to the UK's approach to enforcement, Mr Edwards explained his preference to use a range of responses and that regulators are judged on outcomes, not "by the number or quantum of fines it issues."
Mr Edwards then highlighted the upcoming Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill, which he stated will amend and enhance the UK's existing data protection framework without replacing General Data Protection Regulation, but will not impact the independence of the Information Commissioner's Office. In terms of the UK's adequacy status, and while Mr Edwards recognises any reform of data protection law would mean a re-appraisal of the adequacy agreement, in his view, "nothing in the Bill will jeopardise that position."
In closing, Mr Edwards emphasised the importance of coordination and cooperation with international colleagues and expressed his pleasure at attending events with data protection authorities from across Europe.
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