NEWS – “without comment”

Posted by: Ian (D. Withers)

New Data Protection Bill

13th March 2023

Professional Security Magazine Online

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan has re-introduced the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill. Promised is a ‘common-sense-led’ UK version of the European Union-wide GDPR (general data protection regulation).

To recap, the UK brought in its Data Protection Act 2018 to comply with the EU’s GDPR, despite the 2016 vote to leave the EU, as the UK was still in the EU when the GDPR came into force EU-wide. Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “Co-designed with business from the start, this new Bill ensures that a vitally important data protection regime is tailored to the UK’s own needs and our customs. The Bill was ‘paused’ last autumn as ministers thrashed out what to put in and leave out.

“Our system will be easier to understand, easier to comply with, and take advantage of the many opportunities of post-Brexit Britain. No longer will our businesses and citizens have to tangle themselves around the barrier-based European GDPR. Our new laws release British businesses from unnecessary red tape to unlock new discoveries, drive forward next generation technologies, create jobs and boost our economy.”

The Bill will create at the data privacy regulator the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) a statutory board with a chair and chief executive.

John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner, said: “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 Bill will ensure my office can continue to operate as a trusted, fair and independent regulator. We look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Government to monitor how these reforms are expressed in the Bill as it continues its journey through Parliament.”

The Department for Science in charge of data policy (a recent change to ministries by PM Rishi Sunak; previously responsibility lay with the DCMS, Department for Culture) says that AI and Quantum computing have the potential to create benefits, such as reducing the risk of fraud; and complains that the UK’s existing data protection laws are complex and lack clarity for solely automated decision-making and profiling.

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