Queen’s Speech aims at DP adequacy (and Facebook)

DataIQ News

In a Queen’s Speech dominated by Brexit legislation, a new Data Protection Bill was also announced on Wednesday. The goal is to “ensure that the United Kingdom retains its world-class regime protecting personal data”.

For anybody still thinking that Brexit means the UK will not implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), it was made clear that this will happen - not least because of a desire to achieve an adequacy ruling which will allow UK-EU data transfers.

As the speech put it, the benefit will be “meeting our obligations while we remain an EU member state and helping to put the UK in the best positiong to maintain our ability to share data with other EU member states and internationally after we leave the EU.” 

Ensuring the right DP framework for the digital age while maintaining technological innovation is the balancing act which the Government hopes to pull off with the Bill. Yet the first benefit to be stated is, "to give people new rights to ‘require social media platforms to delete information held about them at the age of 18’.” Clearly aimed at Facebook, this is a more explicit rendering of GDPR that seems likely to be heavily lobbied against once the Bill is brought forward.

Elsewhere, the speech also included new initiatives which could increase the flow of skilled data and analytics practitioners. “As part of our Industrial Strategy, we will also deliver on our plans for new Institutes of Technology. These will enable more young people to take advanced technical qualifications and become key institutions for the development of the skills required by local, national and regional industry,” it said.

Reaction to the proposed Bill was broadly positive and seen as an opportunity for the UK to innovate around a new framework for the data-value exchange, provided it is developed in consultation. “The Government needs to work closely with business in this process to ensure that rules are not just placed on the commercial world, but are developed in partnership,” said Liz Brandt, CEO of Ctrl-Shift.

“Forward-thinking organisations will naturally see this regulation as an opportunity to revolutionise the way business is done. If executed well, it will enable post-Brexit Britain to flourish as an innovative data economy, which supports the creation of new business services which are based on consumer trust.”