At the beginning of July, Baroness Neville-Rolfe gave a speech at the annual Privacy Laws &
Business conference, outlining the government's stance on the
implications of Brexit for a range of data issues including the
GDPR, cybersecurity, international data transfers and the Internet
of Things. The speech emphasised the need to "think about the
opportunities as well as the challenges" of Brexit.
Acknowledging that some aspects of the future are uncertain, the
Minister for Data Protection stated that any country wishing to
handle the data of EU citizens would need to provide an adequate
level of data protection. This will be a major consideration in the
UK's withdrawal negotiations. The minister noted that there
continues to be "explosive growth" in digital
developments and that the need to protect personal data will remain
Also at the beginning of July, Interim Deputy Commissioner Steve
Wood published a blog on the website of the Information
Commissioner's Office ("ICO"). The blog states that
although the GDPR's applicability to the UK is uncertain, the
regulation remains relevant to many organisations in the UK,
particularly those operating internationally. As such, the ICO will
continue to publish guidance on its provisions. Mr Wood also
called for "clear laws with safeguards in place" to
support the growing digital economy.
A legislative response to this is the Digital Economy Bill 2016-17, which was
introduced to the House of Commons and given its first reading 5
July. The bill tackles a variety of digital economy issues,
Strengthening the ICO's powers
New protections for individuals' rights
A new Direct Marketing Code of Practice
Electronic communications infrastructure and services
Restriction of underage access to pornography
The bill will soon be considered by MPs at second reading, where
amendments can be suggested and made.
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