UK to introduce data protection reform plan

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The Government of the United Kingdom has declared its plan to frame a new Data Reform Bill, which will differ from the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Act, explained by the Government as “highly complex”.

The Queen informed about the Bill while delivering the speech at the Opening Parliament, in which Prince Charles stood beside Queen Elizabeth, who decided not to attend for health reasons.

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Prince Charles announced that the UK’s data protection regime would be reformed.

According to the British Government, the new Bill will streamline data protection rules and regulations and cut red tape; reduce the burden on businesses by creating more flexible measures, an outcome-focused approach “rather than box-ticking exercises” while introducing new laws around personal data use.

This is seen as an improvement to current legislation, which is said to encourage “excessive paperwork.”

Industry representatives have expressed concerns that, if done improperly, the Bill could ultimately cost the economy more than it will deliver.

If the UK were to depart from the EU standards too greatly, it could lose its “data adequacy status”, meaning businesses will face higher compliance costs when receiving data from the bloc.

“I think there will still be quite a bit of nervousness from businesses in the weeks ahead,” said Rafi Azim-Khan, head of data privacy at law firm Pillsbury. “I’d imagine we’d see more of a pruning than root and branch reform, but hopefully, we’re not left waiting too long to find out.”

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Full details of the proposals have not yet been published. However, it has been reported that, as part of the reforms, the web cookie consent banners that appear when visiting a website could be scrapped.

The Government said the changes would help increase the competitiveness of UK businesses and boost the economy.

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