The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced details of its Data Reform Bill following its consultation on data: a new direction. Some of the highlights released on Thursday include fines for violations under the existing Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) will rise from £500,000 to £17.5m or 4% of a company's global turnover in line with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Other features will allow some non-essential cookies without consent, while longer-term proposals could see cookie preferences being set automatically in the browser, removing the need for (some organisations) to have cookie consent boxes on their websites and mobile applications. In addition, smaller businesses will no longer need to appoint a data protection officer or conduct data protection impact assessments. News emerged earlier this week that the government intended to announce data protection reforms this month. It turns out we didn't have to wait that long.
Read the government Press Release: New data laws to boost British business, protect consumers and seize the benefits of Brexit. The new proposals are arranged into 5 chapters, covering 30 areas.
- Reducing barriers to responsible innovation
- Reducing burdens on businesses and delivering better outcomes for people
- Boosting trade and reducing barriers to data flows
- Delivering better public services
- Reform of the Information Commissioner’s Office
In a statement, the ICO responded to a consultation on the upcoming Data Reform Bill. The ICO welcomes plans to reduce burdens on business that will lead to more proportionate compliance regimes. The proposals will also enable public services to share data more effectively, leading to better public services.
The Open Rights Group posted an article in response with a warning to Brace Yourselves: New Data Laws are Coming. On Twitter, the ORG said the data proposals are "irresponsible … they risk leading to a massive and expensive rupture with the EU, making data transfers costly for UK businesses, costing jobs during an economic downturn".
Editors note: We will update this summary article with more details as they emerge.
- Pinsent Masons provide a detailed review of the government's plans to reform UK data laws.
- IAPP reports on the release and gets early reaction to the changes.
- IFSEC Global reports that the government has scrapped plans to move Biometrics and Surveillance Camera Commissioner functions to the ICO.
- Mischon de Reya shines highlights the government's proposal to extend the soft opt-in to non-commercial organisations, which may also include political parties.
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