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Data Reform Bill Announced

Data Reform Bill Announced

The Queen’s Speech revealed Government plans for data protection

Prince Charles delivered the Queen’s Speech at the state opening of Parliament on 10th May, giving mention to the introduction of a Data Reform Bill, intended to improve the existing UK data protection regime, much of which has been shaped by the European Union – namely the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Whilst the details of the bill remain unknown, the briefing notes from the speech gave a little more information on what it likely would entail:

  • Taking advantage of Brexit to create a ‘world class regime that allows us to create a new pro-growth and trusted UK data protection framework’.
  • Improve the Information Commissioner’s Office, with increased power and capabilities to take stronger action whilst being more accountable to Parliament and the public.
  • Encourage more engagement in Smart Data Schemes. GOV.UK intended to increase control of data for the public and small businesses. It will also improve access to data in health and social contexts.

The benefits of the bill aim to increase competition and efficiency of UK business, creating a data protection framework that is ‘based on privacy outcomes rather than box-ticking‘.  The intention is to create £1billion in business savings over ten years.

It also intends to simplify rules around research, allowing the UK to continue working as a ‘science and technology superpower’. This would be achieved by improving the ability to share data between public bodies, allowing data to be used to provide effective delivery of healthcare, security and government services.

Ensuring the ICO is able to take appropriate action against organisations breaching data protection legislation will create a ‘gold standard’ of protection and enable the public to have greater clarity of their rights to their data.

It is expected more details of the bill will be announced in the coming weeks, but you can find more information through the Queen’s Speech briefing notes found here: Lobby Pack (10 May 2022) (publishing.service.gov.uk)

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