The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced plans to replace the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the UK with a completely new data protection regime.
Secretary of State for the DCMS, Michelle Donelan, addressed this change during the Conservative Party Conference 2022 with a focus on growth in the digital, cultural, media, and sports spheres. Secretary Donelan emphasised that the UK requires a fresh British data protection regime that focuses on “growth and common sense” whilst being “business and consumer-friendly.” Moreover, the move will create an instrument that “will be clearer for businesses to navigate [and] no longer will businesses be shackled by lots of unnecessary red tape.”
Secretary Donelan made several criticisms of the current GDPR, particularly in regard to it limiting the potential of UK businesses. In her view, the overall reduction of profits experienced by companies operating in the European Union is because of the enforcement of the GDPR. As such, the new regulatory system will be aimed at reducing “needless regulations and business-stifling elements while taking the best bits from others around the world to form a truly bespoke, British system of data protection.
As such, the UK government believes it can still maintain data adequacy without using the GPDR. ‘Adequacy status’ refers to the 2021 decision by the European Union which determined that the UK provides adequate protection for personal data collected and transferred from the EU to the UK under the GDPR. This means British businesses do not need separate agreements for personal data management as long as they abide by the GDPR. The UK’s adequacy status will be reviewed by the European Union in 2025, however, the UK government has noted that it will be following the models of nations such as Japan, Canada, Israel, and New Zealand to achieve data adequacy without having the GDPR.
This move highlights the UK’s desire to break free from the grasp of the European Union and according to Secretary Donelan, “unleash the full growth potential of British businesses.” Only time will tell how this change will impact the economic and financial vitality of the UK and whether consumers and businesses will have their data protected.