Oliver Dowden, Britain’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has unveiled a planned overhaul of the country’s data protection rules in this time after it has left the European Union.
Dowden presented this as a package of measures that will allow the UK to use data to push growth and trade and also “improve public services.”
The post-Brexit UK was considered to be among those modeling their own regulation of these issues after EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and others include California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
But many see the move announced by Dowden as a departure from the GDPR – that is designed to protect privacy and data in the bloc, dealing with things like transfer of personal data outside the EU.
Dowden focused on economic benefits of international partnerships around data, which he said would be multi-billion pound deals to be struck with the US, Australia and South Korea.
However, reports caution that the new rules, unless they are acceptable to the EU, could spell an end to data transfers between it and the UK.
Dowden said that the goal is to come up with “a world leading” data regime that will benefit British people, while international partnerships and domestic data laws that he described as “sensible” would all help achieve this goal. Sensible here means removing annoying features like popups to accept cookies on a site, rather than necessarily improving on the right of people to have their data protected.
The GDPR’s real world effectiveness has also been criticized in the past, and the UK government now banks on making the new regulation more appealing for its ease of use, while under the hood it promises to boost both innovation and a “responsible” approach – that would help startups and small firms grow, “speed up scientific discoveries and improve public services.”