British firms urged to use new data legislation to thrive

DataIQ News

UK industry bodies and regulators have backed the Government's plans to bring in new data protection legislation - which will incorporate GDPR on the statute book - insisting British businesses view the new laws as an opportunity to thrive.

DataIQ revealed Government plans for the UK Data Protection Bill late last week, a move which the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport has now confirmed.

Announcing the new Bill, digital minister Matt Hancock 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."

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham was one of the first to back the move. She 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."

TechUK chief executive Julian David agreed: "The UK has always been a world leader in data protection and data-driven innovation. Key to realising the full opportunities of data is building a culture of trust and confidence.

"This statement of intent is an important and welcome first step in that process. TechUK supports the aim of a Data Protection Bill that implements GDPR in full, puts the UK in a strong position to secure unhindered data flows once it has left the EU, and gives businesses the clarity they need about their new obligations."

Meanwhile CBI innovation director Tom Thackray said that "in the modern economy, data has huge value and its innovative use leads to better services and more productive businesses".

He added: “But firms know that this ability to innovate is dependent on customers having confidence that their information is well protected. This legislation strikes the right balance in improving standards of protection while still enabling businesses to explore new products and services.”

DMA director of external affairs Mike Lordan also added his support, despite warning that "organisations will need to change how they approach their data-driven marketing in order to be more transparent, more secure and more accountable".

"Businesses should not view these new laws as shackles inhibiting innovation, but as opportunities to better serve customers in new and exciting ways.”

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