Just as we have all recovered from the great stress of 2018 (aka GDPR), it looks as if things might be set to change again, in yet another consequence/benefit of Brexit (depending on which side of the fence you sit).
The whispers of industry are getting louder with a prediction that the UK is set to abandon GDPR in favour of its own privacy laws. And given that some of us are still in therapy after the implementation of GDPR, we can be forgiven for seeing any looming changes as a headache we can do without.
But let’s back up a bit…
Just in case you missed it, back in 2018, the EU brought in new data privacy legislation called General Data Protection Regulation, which, as part of the EU, the UK had to abide by. The main purpose of the legislation was to give users control over how their data was used, shared, stored, and processed. Companies had to be a lot more transparent about how data was used to comply with the new rules.
Forbes quoted that preparing for GDPR was believed to have cost UK companies around $1.1bn, with maintenance costs ongoing. This is not to mention the time and energy that went into ensuring compliance.
Critics of GDPR claimed that the content-based permissions led to lots of box ticking, but little meaningful protection for individuals.
Since Brexit, GDPR has been retained in the UK as “UK-GDPR,” but the end of the transition period meant that the UK now had the independence to keep the legislation under review. And it looks like we’ll be seeing changes in action very shortly.
Back in August, culture secretary Oliver Dowden said that the government would be looking to overhaul the UK data policy, to be based on “common sense, not box ticking.”
A new Information Commissioner, international privacy expert John Edwards, will be tasked to oversee the changes.
The UK government claims that a shake up of the country’s data privacy laws would “boost growth, especially for start ups and small firms, speed up scientific discoveries and improve public services.”
But the UK data protection laws would have to be enough to convince other countries that any data that comes into the UK is adequately protected. In June this year, the UK came to a 4-year data adequacy deal with the EU (who are notoriously strict about the protection of their users’ data).
The UK also has data adequacy partnerships with several other nations, including Japan, New Zealand, and China, and will need to agree similar deals in order to keep trading routes open.
While we understand that many of us are still recovering from GDPR, there is no need to panic just yet. Legislation is always under review, and as businesses we must comply. However no changes have been formally announced as yet.
But as a client of JMK, you can rest assured that we will be there to provide guidance and support as we always have done, to ensure that you remain compliant and can continue to support your staff.
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