Data protection law in the United Kingdom is undergoing a time of considerable turmoil. Despite the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, EU institutions reported in February of this year that the country’s data privacy standards are still fairly similar to those of other EU member states. This makes it more unexpected that the British government began changing these rules shortly thereafter. Initially, they were not to be revolutionary, but it was announced at the beginning of October that the existing work was being abandoned since the GDPR would be replaced by a completely new legal framework for data protection. Government representatives promise however, that they will draw inspiration from nations like Japan, Israel or Canada which despite having their own data protection laws, share many similarities with EU’s GDPR.
The course of legislative reform in the United Kingdom
According to British officials, the adjustments aim to make the laws more transparent and flexible for both businesses and consumers. Politicians are feeding us populist claims by asserting that “everything” will be made simpler, clearer, and easier to understand, but there are no specifics yet. The fundamental goal is to liberate businesses from oppressive and unnecessary bureaucracy.
The entire process must be conducted in a manner that maintains the level of protection for consumer privacy and personal data while allowing business owners to continue dealing freely with EU countries. To preserve data privacy and prevent losses from cyberattacks and data breaches, the new data protection plan will emphasize innovation and common sense.
Under the new regime, entities that process personal data will need to make adjustments
On the surface, any change that promises to streamline the process should not stir dispute, but in this situation, it is already apparent that it will cause some problems. It is believed that the planned improvements will reduce red tape and make data protection regulation simpler to comprehend and comply with.
These are admirable goals, but as you might anticipate, they also create some obstacles that must be overcome. Specifically, firms that handle personal information will need to adapt their processes to comply with the new UK rules. Small and medium-sized enterprises that operate solely in the United Kingdom are unlikely to meet many problems, as they are primarily concerned with British law. On the other hand, as they will continue to be subject to EU legislation in other countries, multinational firms and smaller enterprises operating in many countries will need to adjust their current procedures and add a new one that is suitable for their UK office.
External providers must supply adapted tools
The new legislative framework for data protection can also provide issues for external providers who manage data processing for businesses that have opted to use such services. As a result of the new legislation, systems and programs must be adjusted to aid enterprises in the appropriate handling of personal information.
Obviously, these external suppliers do this for a living, thus it could result in additional income for some of them. However, in the face of the economic crisis, skyrocketing inflation, and an unpredictable geopolitical situation, many of them may simply refuse to adapt their policies to the new realities of Britain, citing cost-cutting as their justification. This may result in the end of the relationship between many British businesses and their present provider, even though both sides were satisfied with the current arrangement.
Given the preceding, it appears that the British government’s proposed modifications are not only unneeded but also potentially damaging. They will almost definitely generate upheaval and necessitate adjustments to the organization of business activities, but nobody will be pleased. It should be mentioned that the GDPR has been in existence for several years, but it is only recently that most firms have begun to take the issues seriously and give them the attention they deserve. Some have spent much time adapting to these regulations, and they will be dissatisfied if additional modifications are required. These modifications appear to be a populist effort to strengthen Britain’s isolation from the European Union. Current regulations serve their intended purpose and are in full compliance with EU law, thus it appears irrational to deviate from them.