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Government announces data protection bill to bring GDPR into in UK law

Melanie May | 8 August 2017 | News

The government intends to give the public greater control over their personal data including the right to be forgotten in a new Bill that will bring the GDPR into UK law, it has said in a statement of intent announced by Digital Minster Matt Hancock.
Under the plans, individuals will have more control over their data by having the right to be forgotten and to ask for their personal data to be erased. This will also include social media channels. The government also intends to make default opt-out or pre-selected ‘tick boxes a thing of the past.
According to the Digital Minister, businesses will be supported to ensure they are able to manage and secure data properly, and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will be given more power to defend consumer interests and issue higher fines, of up to £17 million or 4 per cent of global turnover, in cases of the most serious data breaches.
The statement of intent states that the Data Protection Bill will:

New criminal offences will also be created ‘to deter organisations from either intentionally or recklessly creating situations where someone could be identified from anonymised data’ says the statement.
The government also intends to make data protection rules clearer for those who handle data and to make them more accountable for the data they process with the priority on personal privacy rights. Organisations carrying out high-risk data processing will have to to carry out impact assessments to understand the risks involved.
Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital said:

“Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account.
“The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world. The Bill will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit. We have some of the best data science in the world and this new law will help it to thrive.”


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Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, said:

“We are pleased the government recognises the importance of data protection, its central role in increasing trust and confidence in the digital economy and the benefits the enhanced protections will bring to the public.”

Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy & Research at the Institute of Fundraising, also commented:

“We welcome today’s announcement which will help to ensure that the UK is leading the way in data protection in the digital age. The relationship between charities and their supporters is vital for the good work that they do. Being honest and transparent in respecting individuals’ communication preferences is at the heart of charities communicating effectively with supporters and are the building blocks for strong relationships between the public and the causes they support.
“Charities are working hard in recent years to make sure that their donors have the best possible experience of fundraising, including preparing for many of these new legislative requirements. We look forward to the publication of the Bill and working to ensure that any issues specifically affecting charity fundraisers are considered in the new legislation.”