Data protection legislation commitment survives Tory cull of manifesto promises
Government bodies will face a new data protection regime, the government announced in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech.
In a slimmed-down legislative programme for the next two years, dominated by Brexit, the government has followed through on a manifesto commitment to introduce new citizen rights to control personal data.
Yesterday, it said that it will replace the Data Protection Act 1998 with the new framework, which will force organisations to remove personal data when requested.
Notes released alongside the Queen’s Speech said: “The Bill will fulfil a manifesto commitment to ensure the UK has a data protection regime that is fit for the 21st century.
“The Bill will: ensure that our data protection framework is suitable for our new digital age, and cement the UK’s position at the forefront of technological innovation, international data sharing and protection of personal data.”
The new regime, the government said, will cover all non-law enforcement data processing, and modernise and update the regime for data processing by law enforcement agencies.
A manifesto commitment to introduce an expert Data Use and Ethics Commission to advise regulators and parliament on the nature of data use, was not included in the speech.
A statement from industry representative body TechUK, welcomed the announcement of the new Billl.
It said: “This Bill will be a vital step forward in providing business clarity and certainty on data protection and ensuring the UK Government’s fully implements the EU GDPR by May 25 2018.”
But the statement said it is still unclear how the government intends to implement the derogations allowed under GDPR.
“Alongside plans for GDPR implementation,” TechUK added, “the government must ensure a secure and robust legal framework is in place to enable the continued unhindered transfer of personal data between the UK and the EU post Brexit.
“To achieve this we need to make sure the UK is in the best shape possible to secure an adequacy agreement. Implementing GDPR in full will be a key step in the right direction”
TechUK chief executive Julian David warned the government to take a careful approach to a new counter terrorism review, which the Queen’s Speech said would involve working with online companies to reduce and restrict the availability of extremist material online.
David said: “The tech sector shares the Government’s ambition of making the UK the safest place to be online.
“It will work closely with the government on its plans for a Digital Charter and counter extremism measures. However, there is a fine line between strengthening protection and over reaching rules that constrain the creativity of businesses and citizens. Collaboration, cooperation and trust are key to creating a safe and secure digital world.”