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The Governments Reform of GDPR Could Actually Be Quite Pro-Regulation

Campaigners fears may have been unfounded over the Governments plans to gut GDPR

Back in June cloudThing reported that privacy campaigners were concerned that post-Brexit the UK Government were planning on gutting GDPR.

Instead, according to the latest round of information released, it appears as though the Government is looking to take a much sterner pro-regulation stance than feared by rebuilding problem areas whilst also maintain personal protections.

Although the new data regime was originally promised to be based on a very conservative ‘common sense’ model rather than the previous ‘box ticking’ more info has come to light over plans to overhaul the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) with a commitment to maintain public security and privacy but also tackling head on the problem of algorithmic bias in AI systems.


This new round of consultations will run until 19th November this year.


It’s not just data reforms the consultation is looking at, however. It’s also going to cover topics such as new governance models for the ICO which will look to add an independent board as well as a chief executive that will mirror the governance structures of other UK Regulation bodies such as the CMA, FCA and Ofcom.


Many campaigners were worried original comments around ‘cutting red tape’ around GDPR would lead to a loss of personal privacy but the stated aim of the new consultation is to put privacy protection 'at the heart of the planned data reform', going so far to state 'far from being a barrier to innovation or trade, regulatory certainty and high data protection standards allow businesses and consumers to thrive’ and to 'reinforce the responsibility of businesses to keep personal information safe, while empowering them to grow and innovate'.


The new proposals will seek to 'maintain the UK's world-leading data protection standards' and be built on 'key elements' of the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act.

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There is no doubt that some aspects of the GDPR do not work well, and some areas are unhelpfully obscure. For example, the rules for data use in scientific and industrial research and innovation are cumbersome to locate and analyse, hindering use and sharing of data for these beneficial purposes; it is difficult to use personal data for training AI algorithms to avoid bias; individuals' consent to data processing has been rendered meaningless through over-use; and international data flows have become mired in red tape.

Bojana Bellamy – President, Centre for Information Policy Leadership

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