Digital Minister calls for new approach to UK data laws

The new Data Protection Bill, aimed to “encourage innovation while protecting privacy” was published today. Digital Minister Matthew Hancock took the opportunity to call all businesses to become compliant with GDPR before the deadline of May 25 2018.

In an opinion piece published on City AM, Minister Hancock said the new laws built on the existing ones and shouldn’t be too hard for businesses to get used to them.

“Any organisation’s data protection framework that’s compliant with the existing rules should be in a good position to take the step up to being compliant with the new laws. They add one new addition to the eight data protection principles set out in the 1998 Act, and that is the principle of accountability,” he said.

He also added that the bill will have a few exemptions to the rules, to make sure data that’s vital to the UK’s economy, democracy and society can be processed in a proper manner.

He also took the opportunity to ‘offer a few assurances’ to small and medium-sized businesses in the country.

“While getting prepared for these new rules might be plain sailing for big businesses, we recognise that there is a degree of uncertainty from small and medium size companies or public sector organisations,” he said.

He said that the maximum fines will only be used for “the most serious data breaches”. He also said that “as long as organisations can ensure they are adequately protecting the data they hold, the new framework imposes no unnecessary additional costs.”

There you go, no need to worry.

“The UK has always been a world-leader on data protection. This Bill will ensure that continues into the twenty first century, so that we humans can survive and thrive in the next chapter of the digital revolution to come.”

Image Credit: Flickr / janneke staaks