GDPR Radio – Episode 79

Hosted by Oliver Rear and David Holmes

The UK Data Reform – Where Are We Heading?

In this episode of the Data Protection Made Easy podcast our hosts Oliver Rear and David Holmes join together to share their thoughts and opinions on the UK government’s published response to the consultation on the data reform bill.

We not only touch on the proposed changes but more broadly on what the government’s decision represents for the wider landscape. There has been a large amount of confusion around what direction we are heading in ever since the announcement was first made. In this discussion, we try to take in all the information we have learned so far and try to paint a picture that shows the direction we’re heading in moving forward.

What is the UK Data Reform Bill?

The UK Government aims to harness the power of data to help British businesses trade abroad, boost the UK’s position as a science and technology superpower, and improve people’s everyday lives. It sets out how the Data Reform Bill announced in this year’s Queen’s Speech will strengthen the UK’s high data protection standards while reducing burdens on businesses to deliver around £1 billion in cost savings that they can use to grow their business, boosting the economy.

The plans will modernise the Information Commissioner’s Office, the data regulator, so it can better help businesses comply with the law. It will also gain tougher powers to crack down on nuisance calls. As well as empowering the UK to strike new data partnerships, the reforms will fuel the responsible use of data for innovation by providing clearer definitions on how consent is obtained for research.

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said:

Today is an important step in cementing post-Brexit Britain’s position as a science and tech superpower. Our new Data Reform Bill will make it easier for businesses and researchers to unlock the power of data to grow the economy and improve society, but retains our global gold standard for data protection.

Outside of the EU we can ensure people can control their personal  data, while preventing businesses, researchers and civil society from being held back by a lack of clarity and cumbersome EU legislation.

John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner, said:

I share and support the ambition of these reforms.

I am pleased to see the government has taken our concerns about independence on board. Data protection law needs to give people confidence to share their information to use the products and services that power our economy and society. The proposed changes will ensure my office can continue to operate as a trusted, fair and impartial regulator, and enable us to be more flexible and target our action in response to the greatest harms.

We look forward to continuing to work constructively with the government as the proposals are progressed and will continue to monitor how these reforms are expressed in the Bill.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has signed a fine income retention agreement so that it can now retain some of the funds paid out as a result of its civil monetary penalty notices (MPNs) and use the funds to cover pre-agreed, specific and externally audited litigation costs.

One thing that is very present in this episode of the Data Protection Made Easy is our praise for the Information Commissioners’ Office which has been brilliant since the addition of John Edwards. For the third week in a row, we have found ourselves applauding decisions from John and his team and we’re really eager to see what direction he will lead us in.

If you would like to find out how you can join us live on future episodes of the Data Protection Made Easy podcast, visit our events page where you will find registration detail for a wide range of events. Data Protection Made Easy has over 950 subscribers from school teachers to DPOs we aim to make data protection easy for our community by sharing our knowledge, free of charge, every single Friday!

Our next episode will be on the 24th of June 2022 and will feature Stuart Parkin from Assure Data Protection and Liam Follin from Dark Invader who will join together to discuss ransomware attacks. Stuart and Liam both work for organisations that provide protection against ransomware attacks and together they will share their insights, opinions and advise on the protection and prevention of ransomware attacks.