On October 3, 2022, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Michelle Donelan, announced that the UK Government intends to replace the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with its own “business and consumer-friendly, British data protection system”.
Donelan’s address at the Conservative Party Conference 2022 contained statements that the “unnecessary red tape” and “bureaucratic nature” of the GDPR continues to limit the potential of UK businesses. Donelan noted that Oxford University researchers estimated that the GDPR has caused businesses to lose over 8% of profits. Furthermore, a survey conducted by the DCMS reflected that 50% of businesses believed the GDPR has led to excessive caution amongst staff in the handling of data.
Although no specific details regarding the timeline or implementation of the UK’s new data protection system were released, Donelan shared that the new system will aim to protect consumer privacy, keep consumer data safe, retain data adequacy so businesses can trade freely, avoid the pitfalls of a one-size-fits-all system, and be simpler and clearer for businesses to navigate.
In addition, the UK Government plans to involve businesses “right from the start in the design of a tailored, business-friendly British system of data protection”. The Government also indicated that it will look to countries that have achieved data adequacy without the GDPR, such as Israel, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and New Zealand.
Donelan’s announcement also included references to other digital legislative priorities, such as the roll-out of broadband and 5G connectivity across the UK, and the delivery of an online safety bill to strengthen social media protections for children.
Summary By: Steffi Tran
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