In an effort to stimulate business and research, the UK announced a plan to roll down data protection rules and cookie consent boxes.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said in a statement outlining the law that it will reduce “burdens on businesses to deliver around £1 billion ($1.23 billion) in cost savings” over 10 years.
The declaration slammed the EU’s “complex” General Data Protection Regulation and pledged a “clampdown on bureaucracy, red tape and pointless paperwork” in order to “seize the benefits of Brexit.”
Small firms in the United Kingdom will no longer need to hire a data protection officer or complete “lengthy impact assessments.”
Instead of having to opt-in for the collection of cookies, which monitor users around the internet, users would be given the opportunity to opt-out. According to the government, the reform will reduce “the irritating boxes users currently see on every website.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will have to balance apparent opportunities with the risk of jeopardizing a key deal signed last year guaranteeing data flows between the UK and the continent, which has a clause allowing for regular reviews, as Britain departs from the bloc and faces legal action from Brussels for threatening the Northern Ireland protocol.
A DCMS spokeswoman said that as the Commission itself has made clear, EU adequacy decisions do not require countries to have the same rules. Our view is that these reforms are fully compatible with maintaining the free flow of personal data from Europe.
Researchers will not have to be as clear about why they’re gathering data if they depend on a previous authorization for “cancer research” rather than receiving a fresh approval for their particular study, according to the bill.
The government will also be able to impose more influence over the Information Commissioner’s Office, the country’s data watchdog. Before they are presented to Parliament, Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries will have to accept the statutory codes and recommendations.
According to Linklaters data lawyer Peter Church, the revisions appear “modest” and less likely than some past more radical ideas to jeopardize data adequacy.
This is hardly a surprise given data protection laws are now a global norm and the GDPR is the template upon which many of those laws are based, he said, adding though that it’s not clear how the new regime will adequately protect individuals from excessive and intrusive internet tracking.
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