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Sophie Cameron

Features and Opinion Editor, Solicitors Journal

New UK data protection laws debated in Parliament

New UK data protection laws debated in Parliament


UK hosts Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum

The UK government’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology announced that the UK’s Data Protection and Digital Information Bill will be debated in Parliament on 17 April, to coincide with the UK hosting the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum, which brings together experts for four days of discussion on global approaches to privacy.

The new Bill aims to address problems experienced by consumers such as reducing cookie pop-ups online and combatting nuisance calls and texts, while providing organisations with greater flexibility in protecting personal data. According to the UK government’s latest press release, before the reforms take effect and in order to ensure that internet users can effectively control how their data is used, the government will work with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and industry to ensure that the technology to enable consumers to set their preferences automatically is in place.

The Bill will also modernise the ICO through the creation of a statutory board, as well as ensuring that the UK’s data adequacy aligns with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GPPR). According to the government, the legal changes included in the Bill will improve the UK’s ability to strike international data deals post-Brexit and make these partnerships more secure.

Presenting the Bill to Parliament, Data Minister Julia Lopez, is expected to state: “This Bill will maintain the high standards of data protection that British people rightly expect. But it will also help the people who are using our data to make our lives healthier, safer, and more prosperous. That’s because we’ve co-designed it with those people, to ensure that our regulation reflects the way real people live their lives and run their businesses.”

The Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum is being held in London from Monday 17 to Thursday 20 April. Discussions and workshops are due to take place between government officials, regulators and privacy experts, exploring how global privacy regimes can be more compatible and how data transfers can be improved.