Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (no. 2) in Parliament

The Data Protection and Digital Information (No. 2) Bill had its Second Reading yesterday, 17 April, at the House of Commons. The Opposition said that while it is largely supportive of the government’s aims for a data reform, this Bill does not take the opportunity to bring a real change from the GDPR.

Aspects that attracted many questions were the wide-ranging powers for the Secretary of State to approve codes of practice, and the ICO’s independence. Labour MPs also said that while co-design with industry and other stakeholders has been a good way forward, the voice of big tech companies is too strong, and there is a power imbalance between big tech and people.

There were also concerns over the UK’s EU data adequacy.

The Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Julia Lopez said:

“The UK cannot step aside from the debate by simply rubber-stamping whatever iteration of the GDPR comes out of Brussels.”

“We have been in constant contact with the European Commission about our proposals. We want to make sure that there are no surprises. We are currently adequate, and we believe that we will maintain adequacy following the enactment of the Bill.”

Speaking about cutting red tape, Lopez said; “A small business that is currently compliant with the GDPR will continue to be compliant under the new regime. However, we want to give businesses flexibility in regard to how they deliver that compliance, so that, for instance, they do not have to employ a data protection officer.”

She also announced that the UK is co-hosting, in partnership with the United States, a workshop on the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) forum in London this week. The UK has already expressed interest in joining the CBPR system which aims to facilitate data flows on a global scale.

See The Official Report (Hansard) - Data Protection and Digital Information (No. 2) Bill

Privacy Laws & Business 36th International Conference will debate these issues in several sessions.