The government are to reform the UK’s data protection laws to help aid economic growth and businesses by being more friendly.
Referencing the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), Oliver Dowden the Digital Secretary said that the UK are to take a “slightly less European approach” to privacy.
He added, “by focusing more on the outcomes that we want to have and less on the burdens.
“As we move from sustaining the economy [during the pandemic], to the real drive for growth and goodness knows, we’re going to need a huge amount of growth, digital and tech are absolutely at the forefront of that.
“I’m seeking to set out where we are going to go with data now that we have left the European Union and are not subject to EU jurisdiction.”
The UK is no longer directly subjected to the EU’s jurisdiction, but are still dependent on the EU Commission assessing that data protection laws on EU’s citizens’ data is not at risk when they enter the UK.
Dowden said there are no immediate plans to introduce the legislation, but he did cite a “can do attitude” ot the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The Digital Secretary said, “I think there’s a chance in appointing the new Information Commissioner, I’m looking for somebody that is not just focusing on data through a negative prism of how we stop harms, but also driving growth opportunities, both through public policy, but also through creating opportunities for business.
“I’m very keen that we ensure that we continue to have strong data protections and indeed that’s why the EU has provisionally recognised us as data adequate, but I think there’s real opportunities for driving growth in respect of data.”
Dowden added, “Clearly countries like China have a very strong state role, if you look to the US they have the interests of very large tech companies predominate them, and I think the EU increasingly looks to a slightly more protectionist view of data.
“I think there’s a sweet spot for the UK whereby we hold on to many of the strengths of GDPR in terms of giving people security about their data, and I’d be very worried if, in reforming our data laws, people’s confidence in sharing data was undermined. GDPR provides a baseline for that.
“But there are obvious areas where I think we can make more progress.”