UK fails to set clear data reform strategy despite leaving EU complexity

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 5:29 PM

In a bid to cut red tape in the European Union once and for all, the government is pushing ahead with its Data Reform Bill.

Moving away from ‘very complex’ data protection laws, the government outlined its plans in the Queen’s Speech this morning to move away from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Privacy Act. Data protection.

The government called both laws “complex and prescriptive” and argued that the new bill would reduce burdens on businesses and provide researchers with clarity on how best to use personal data.

Although there are no exact details on what this would mean in practice, the government has said it will streamline data protection laws and reduce the burden on businesses; this will focus on results “rather than box-picking exercises”.

According to analysis by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the reforms will create more than £1 billion in savings for businesses over ten years by reducing burdens on businesses of all sizes.

Commenting on the government’s new proposals, Charles Russell Speechlys partner Jonathan McDonald said while it “makes the process easier” in terms of direction, “the government has yet to define its position”.

CEO and founder of Ethyca, a New York-based privacy technology company, Cillian Kieran has weighed in and expressed uncertainty about the UK’s big reform plans.

He said: “Those who fear that high data protection standards are a barrier to innovation should consider that data adequacy offers huge efficiency gains in terms of resource certainty and planning for UK based companies doing business in Europe.

“What will be the cost of the opportunity for innovation if UK compliance teams are forced to spend years reworking data and data transfer policies due to the loss of fit with the EU?”

He suggested that abandoning EU mechanisms could be a significant drag on business rather than a benefit.

“Jeopardizing adequacy status could backfire on groups who see higher data protection standards as a barrier to innovation. In order to preserve data flows and promote collaboration, different jurisdictions must be able to bridge their data processing requirements,” Kieran suggested.

Sharon D. Cole