Prince Charles has outlined the government’s priorities for the year ahead, as he delivered the Queen’s Speech. The speech highlighted some of the 38 laws that ministers intend to pass in the coming year. This includes a new Data Protection Reform Bill which is predicted to make sweeping changes to the UK GDPR. The draft bill will published this summer but you don’t have to look too far back for clues about its contents.
On 10 September 2021, the UK Government launched a consultation entitled “Data: A new direction” intended “to create an ambitious, pro-growth and innovation-friendly data protection regime that underpins the trustworthy use of data.” Cynics will say that it is an attempt to water down the UK GDPR just a few months after the UK received adequacy status from the European Union.
Back in May, the Prime Ministerial Taskforce on Innovation, Growth, and Regulatory Reform (TIGRR) published a 130-page report setting out a “new regulatory framework” for the UK. Saying that the current data protection regime contained too many onerous compliance requirements, it suggested that the government:
“Replace the UK GDPR with a new, more proportionate, UK Framework of Citizen Data Rights to give people greater control of their data while allowing data to flow more freely and drive growth across healthcare, public services and the digital economy.”
Many of the recommendations made in the TIGRR Report can be found in the latest consultation document. The government believes the reforms will benefit the U.K. economy, but should the reforms go too far, they could risk the U.K.’s adequacy status with the EU.
Act Now will of course keep you informed about the proposed changes via this blog as well as our programme of GDPR workshops. Fasten your seatbelts!