Last week, the Queen’s Speech brought us 37 new bills following the government’s legislative agenda, including the Data Reform Bill which strives to modernise the current framework to better suit businesses, organisations and UK citizens.
The Bill is awaiting publication. It aims to modernise the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation (or UKGDPR as it is more commonly known) to deliver a more flexible and outcome-focused approach in the culture of data protection. It aims to reduce excessive paperwork to lessen the burden on businesses while still being compliant with broader data protection concepts.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Secretary of State for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will be provided with a new statutory framework that will set out their powers and objectives in ensuring widespread data protection compliance across the UK. The reformation of the statutory framework will authorise the ICO to take stronger action against organisations who breach the data provisions and thus will improve accountability to Parliament and UK citizens.
UK citizens’ personal data will be protected at a higher standard to avoid erroneous mishaps with the loss of this data as well as being better informed of their rights over how their data is processed. The Bill creates a clearer regulatory environment for personal data to encourage responsible innovation and advance scientific progress.
Following the Government’s public consultation published in September 2021, not too much has changed other than permitting businesses to use analytical cookies without the customers’ consent. This will be a matter that will be debated in the House of Lords.