Data Protection law overhaul

The public will be given more control over their personal data and be better protected in the digital age under new measures announced by Digital Minister Matt Hancock.

The proposals, to come in the form of a Data Protection Bill, include the ‘right to be forgotten’ and a requirement for social media platforms to delete personal information on children and adults when asked.

Under the plans, reliance on default opt-out or pre-selected ‘tick boxes’ to give consent for organisations to collect personal data will also become a thing of the past.

The government said that businesses will be supported to ensure they are able to manage and secure data properly. The data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), will also be given more power to defend consumer interests and issue higher fines, of up to £17m or 4% of global turnover in cases of most serious data breaches.

The Data Protection Bill will:

  • Make it simpler to withdraw consent for use of personal data.
  • Allow people to ask for their personal data held by companies to be erased.
  • Enable parents and guardians to give consent for their child’s data to be used.
  • Require ‘explicit’ consent to be necessary for processing sensitive personal data.
  • Expand the definition of ‘personal data’ to include IP addresses, internet cookies and DNA.
  • Update and strengthen data protection law to reflect the changing nature and scope of the digital economy.
  • Make it easier and free for individuals to require an organisation to disclose the personal data it holds on them.
  • Make it easier for customers to move data between service providers.
  • Create new criminal offences to deter organisations from either intentionally or recklessly creating situations where someone could be identified from anonymised data.
  • Bring the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into UK law.
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