In the Queen’s Speech (outlining the new government’s programme) today, the UK government has made its intention clear to legislate to ‘ensure that the United Kingdom retains its world-class regime protecting personal data’ by implementing the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the EU law enforcement Directive.
The background notes to the Queen’s Speech state that the Data Protection Bill will have the following benefits:
• To meet the manifesto commitments to give people new rights to “require major social media platforms to delete information held about them at the age of 18” and to “bring forward a new data protection law”.
• To ensure that our data protection framework is suitable for our new digital age, and cement the UK’s position at the forefront of technological innovation, international data sharing and protection of personal data.
• To allow police and judicial authorities to continue to exchange information quickly and easily with our international partners in the fight against terrorism and other serious crimes.
• To implement the General Data Protection Regulation and the new Directive which applies to law enforcement data processing, meeting our obligations while we remain an EU member state and helping to put the UK in the best position to maintain our ability to share data with other EU member states and internationally after we leave the EU.
The Bill will replace the 1998 DP Act. The government says that the new rules strengthen rights and empower individuals to have more control over their personal data, including a Right to be Forgotten when individuals no longer want their data to be processed, provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.
The government is also committed to updating the ICO’s powers and sanctions available to it.