13 October 2022

Government says it wants to unblock business by flushing GDPR down the drain

Following on from the pausing of the Data Reform Bill, Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, announced plans for a “British data protection system”. She said:

“No longer will our businesses be shackled by unnecessary red tape. At the moment, even though we have shortages of electricians and plumbers, GDPR ties them in knots with clunky bureaucracy. In its place, we will co-design with business a new system of data protection.”

It would be interesting to see the supporting evidence for her statement that plumbers and electricians cannot currently conduct efficient business due to GDPR; especially as the ICO has a wealth of clear resources for small businesses on its SME web hub.

The indication here is that the government wish to go even further than the proposals set out in the Data Reform Bill, stripping out anything it sees as causing “bureaucracy”. The Data Reform Bill indicated that many compliance tasks and duties would be amended, such as Records of Processing (ROPA), Data Privacy Impact Assessments (DPIA) and even the role of Data Protection Officer (DPO). Ms Donelan goes on to say that:

“We will look to those countries who achieve data adequacy without having GDPR, like Israel, Japan, South Korea, Canada and New Zealand.”

This reiterates that the Government wishes to maintain ‘adequacy’ enabling the free flow of data between the UK and EU. In order to do this the “British data protection system” will need to meet the EU’s assessment of adequacy. This will be very difficult to do without retaining some of the balancing mechanisms to protect individuals’ privacy over business interests.

In short, watch this space but it is likely the ‘British data protection system’ would not be ready to come into force until after the next general election; therefore, it’s likely we will retain the UK General Data Protection Regulations for the next few years and possibly beyond. 

Look out for our new training course: “U-bends, Circuit Boards and Privacy Notices” coming soon! 😉

Conservative Party Conference, October 03, 2022

Our plan for digital infrastructure, culture, media and sport (conservatives.com)

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