Government to introduce revised DP Bill in Parliament today

Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary of State, Michelle Donelan, will today introduce in Parliament the new Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (No. 2).

The Bill was paused in September 2022 for further consideration. After mixed messages from the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology (DSIT) last week about when the Bill would return to Parliament, the Department says this improved Bill will “introduce a simple, clear and business-friendly framework that will not be difficult or costly to implement – taking the best elements of GDPR and providing businesses with more flexibility about how they comply with the new data laws.”

The government says it is committed to ensuring that the new UK regime maintains data adequacy with the EU, and wider international confidence in the UK’s comprehensive data protection standards.

Donelan said: “Co-designed with business from the start, this new Bill ensures that a vitally important data protection regime is tailored to the UK’s own needs and our customs.”

“Our system will be easier to understand, easier to comply with, and take advantage of the many opportunities of post-Brexit Britain. No longer will our businesses and citizens have to tangle themselves around the barrier-based European GDPR.”

“Our new laws release British businesses from unnecessary red tape to unlock new discoveries, drive forward next generation technologies, create jobs and boost our economy.”

Tech UK has been consulted about the new version of the Bill and has offered its input. Julian David, TechUK CEO, said: "TechUK welcomes the new, targeted package of reforms to the UK’s data protection laws, which builds on ambitions to bring organisations clarity and flexibility when using personal data.”

“The changes announced today will give companies greater legal confidence to conduct research, deliver basic business services and develop new technologies such as AI, while retaining levels of data protection in line with the highest global standards, including data adequacy with the EU."

John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner, said: “The Bill will ensure my office can continue to operate as a trusted, fair and independent regulator. We look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Government to monitor how these reforms are expressed in the Bill as it continues its journey through Parliament.”

However, The Open Rights Group said that 26 civil society organisations have written to DSIT Secretary of State, Michelle Donelan MP, calling for the Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI) Bill to be dropped. The signatories include trade unions as well as human rights, healthcare, racial justice, migrants rights, workers’ rights and criminal justice organisations. They are concerned that the government’s proposals will seriously weaken data protection rights in the UK, and could particularly harm people from marginalised communities.

See: UK Parliament - Data Protection and Digital Information (No. 2) Bill

PL&B will follow the Bill’s progress closely in PL&B UK Report

There will be a session on the new Bill at Who’s Watching Me? PL&B’s 36th International Conference 3-5 July at St. John’s College, Cambridge.