Initial comment on UK Gov’s ‘Data: A new direction’ consultation – Tim Heywood

November 9, 2021
Tim Heywood


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Have another cookie? Following its exit from the EU, the UK Government is exploring how to unlock data’s potential.

The consultation on regulatory reform states it wants to ‘create an ambitious, pro-growth and innovation-friendly data protection regime’… but what could this really mean for your business?

gunnercooke Data Protection, Public law & Procurement Partner, Tim Heywood, comments:

“This ten-week consultation will be followed closely by businesses around the world as it runs through to 19th November.

“Striking a balance is going to be key. Watering down some of the more stringent measures could encourage competition and drive economic growth, but broader privacy rights and international standards will set limits on what’s possible.

“Guidance around data ownership and security, consumer privacy, and regulatory compliance must be clear. The last thing businesses need as they recover from the pandemic is further uncertainty, burdensome processes, or additional expense.

“As part of the consultation views are being sought on whether the regulator should have more teeth. This could include increasing Information Commissioner’s Office fines for breaches of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations so they are the same level as those under UK GDPR at 4 per cent of global turnover.

“There’s also discussion around the UK’s future approach to adequacy decisions and sharing data with other countries. Should they be risk-based and focused on outcomes? How can we innovate without jeopardising the crucial flow of data between the UK and EU?

“Over the coming weeks, I’ll be looking closely at some areas of the law that are under consideration and the issues that could affect your business.

“In the meantime, if you’d like to have your say and contribute to the Government’s consultation on reforms to the UK’s data protection regime, you can do so by 11:45 pm on 19th November here:’

If you have any specific concerns relating to data law, then contact Tim Heywood: [email protected]