UK’s proposed data protection laws aim to give more control

The UK Governments proposed Data Protection Bill will aim to give citizens more control of their personal data. In a move that compliments the more stringent data protection laws brought in my GDPR, the new bill is a response to the current issue of internet privacy. Indeed, the bill intends to transfer the impending GDPR into UK law.

The overhaul of UK data protection laws – championed by Digital Minister, Matt Hancock – proposes that citizens will be able to ask for personal data or any information posted when they were children, to be deleted.

>See also: GDPR compliance: what organisations need to know

As part of the reform, the UK’s data protection watchdog will also get more widespread powers, including the ability to give out harsher fines.

“The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world,” said Hancock in a statement. “It will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit.”

The proposal:

• Make it simpler for people to withdraw consent for their personal data to be used.
• Let people ask for data to be deleted.
• Require firms to obtain “explicit” consent when they process sensitive personal data.
• Expand personal data to include IP addresses, DNA and small text files known as cookies.
• Let people get hold of the information organisations hold on them much more freely.

>See also: The era of increased data protection rules 

The UK’s Information Commissioner will also have its powers strengthened and extended to help it police the new regime. Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, said: “We are pleased the government recognises the importance of data protection, its central role in increasing trust and confidence in the digital economy and the benefits the enhanced protections will bring to the public.”

“This is a crucial time for cyber security in Europe as organisations implement GDPR. The UK government’s statement of intent on a Data Protection Bill, expected to be released in September, gives welcome certainty and direction to the country’s business and cyber security leadership. Organisations of all types have demonstrated a determination to advance cyber security and preserve digital trust, particularly in light of recent high-profile cyber attacks,” commented Greg Day, VP and Chief Security Officer EMEA, Palo Alto Networks.

>See also: Data protection: businesses are spoilt for choice

“The UK’s forthcoming bill, which will serve to implement GDPR within the UK, makes it clear that this country wants to be a beacon of excellence for how organisations protect and secure personal data, including by preventing successful cyber attacks, and give individuals control over how their personal data is used. Based on the details released today by DCMS, we expect this bill can also contribute to how the UK economy will leverage digitisation to grow and innovate, with greater assurance in the years ahead. We look forward to seeing more details in the autumn.”


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...