Introduction to the new UK Data Protection Bill

Data and Data Cleansing | August 15, 2017

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After the dust of the General Election had settled back in June 2017, the Queen presided over the ‘State Opening of Parliament’. Her speech, which outlined the intentions of the incumbent, yet somewhat, weakened Tory government, included plans for new data protection rules in the UK as described in the Tory manifesto.

Amid controversies involving privacy online, how your data is used by companies that have access to it and the increased use of social networks by those under the age of 18, data protection issues often rise to the top of the agenda. In politics, data protection has been prominent of late due to the encroaching EU data protection rules, the GDPR, that will take effect next May. The UK Government have also made their position quite clear, that ‘Brexit’ will not stop GDPR being written into UK law. 

Following the Queen’s speech, a more detailed document was released, key points included:

  • Ensuring data protection rules were “suitable for the digital age”
  • Giving young people the right to demand social networks delete any personal data they had shared prior to turning 18.
  • “Empowering individuals to have more control over their personal data”
  • Giving people the “right to be forgotten” when they no longer wanted a company to process their data – providing there were no legitimate grounds for a company retaining the data
  • Modernising data processing procedures for law enforcement agencies
  • Allowing police and the authorities to “continue to exchange information quickly and easily with international partners” to fight terrorism and other serious crime

There may have been some confusion related to the rigidity of the GDPR when applied to UK businesses, what with Brexit negotiations well underway. The new bill seeks not only to adopt the obligations of the GDPR but to reinforce the importance of data protection and the correlation it has with trust, especially when the UK eventually leaves the EU in 2019. To maintain business relationships as a nation outside the EU, the UK must be seen as an advocate for strong data protection in an environment where international data transfers are common. 

Introducing this new bill reiterates the already prevalent notion that businesses need to ensure that they are prepared for GDPR. 

If you need any advice on data protection, the GDPR and the new UK bill, give us a call on 01747 820960 or email us at sales@mailandprint.co.uk. We also offer a data cleansing service that can be a useful step in your efforts to prepare for when these new laws take effect.

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