Mon Mar 15 2021
Britain needs to take a ‘slightly less European approach’ on privacy
One of the main promises of the Brexit campaign was that the UK would no longer be subject to the EU’s jurisdiction, being able to draft our own sovereign laws.
That appears to be coming true this week as the Government seeks to move away from GDPR regulations whilst retaining sufficient privacy measures that European users data will be considered ‘safe’ in the UK.
In the next few months, the UK will begin reforming data protection legislation to make the UK version of GDPR more ‘business friendly’ with the stated goal of increasing economic growth after COVID.
There is a sweet spot for the UK whereby we hold onto many of the strengths of GDPR in terms of giving people security about their data but there are obviously areas where I think we can make more progress. Britain needs to take a ‘slightly less European approach’ on privacy and should focus more on the results that ‘we want to have’ following the country's exit from the European Union (EU). 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.
It was only last month that the EU was reported as debating a ‘positive data adequacy decision’ to regarding the UK and private date entering/leaving the EU post Brexit.
That decision is eagerly anticipated by many UK sectors who regularly share personal customer data and feared the worst after Brexit.
The European Commission has previously stated that it will be re-examining the UK’s data adequacy every four years to make sure the privacy of EU citizens isn’t compromised by changes to UK legislation.
The bloc will be keeping an eye on any backsliding when forming new trade deals with the UK
The timing of Dowden’s statement comes just as the UK Government has started the search for a new Information Commissioner, looking for an "exceptional candidate with a demonstrable desire to deliver a new approach to data in the UK".
In fact, in an article in the Financial times last week Dowden was quoted as saying her wants the UK’s new Information Commissioner to:
Focus not just on data privacy but also on the use of data for economic and social goals. Under the current regime many organisations and businesses are unwilling to use data, either because they don't understand the rules or are afraid of inadvertently breaking them. There is no need to copy and paste the EU's rulebook while drafting rules for Britain.
Mon Mar 15 2021