In the Queen’s Speech on 10th May, 2022, The Prince of Wales stated that a Data Reform Bill will be introduced. This follows the Government’s September 2021 consultation paper on reforms to the UK’s data protection regime. There is no time-frame for delivery of the bill, but the announcement is encouraging for businesses who want to see less red tape around data protection.
However, there are concerns that following this course may lead to the EU withdrawing the UK’s adequacy status. Adequacy status is designed to make it easy to transfer personal data between the UK and the EEA. So its loss could increase both administration and costs of such transfers.
More details of the Data Reform Bill will be provided over time. In summary:
- Create a new pro-growth, trusted UK data protection framework
- Focus on privacy outcomes rather than box-ticking
- Protect UK citizens’ personal data to a gold standard
- Modernise the Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’)
- Ensure the ICO has the power it needs to take stronger action against organisations who breach data rules
- Increase industry participation in Smart Data Schemes (where customer data is shared with authorised third-party providers on the customer’s request).
The Data Reform Bill promises benefits both to business and consumers:
- Increase competitiveness and efficiency of UK businesses
- enable public services to share data to improve delivery of services
- enable data to be used to empower citizens and improve their lives, through more effective delivery of public healthcare, security, and government services
- create a clearer regulatory environment
- enable personal data to fuel responsible innovation and drive scientific progress
- provide citizens with greater clarity on their rights
More on Data Protection in Queen’s Speech
There are two other noteworthy bills mentioned in the Queen’s Speech:
- Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill, whose purpose is to improve cyber resilience and digital connectivity for individuals and businesses; and make sure that smart consumer products (for example smartphones and televisions) are more secure against cyber attacks.
- Draft Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill, whose purpose is to “promote competition, strengthen consumer rights and protect households and businesses. Measures will also be published to create new competition rules for digital markets and the largest digital firms.”
16th May 2022
If you need help with your data protection, or have concerns over current issues, just get in touch. Have a look at our services. Or call us on 01787 277742.