Search

How can we help?

Icon

Data protection laws give individuals more control over personal data

Details of the Data Protection Bill were revealed yesterday. The Government announced that the new laws will provide people with more control over how their personal information is used and ensure that people can withdraw consent to use their data just as easily as they can grant it.

The proposed changes are intended to help bring the UK in line with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) post Brexit but to also push the UK into the forefront of data protection and online regulation.

Key changes announced include:

  • wider definition of ‘personal data’ to now include DNA profiles, IP addresses, browsing histories and internet cookies
  • no longer being able to rely on pre-ticked boxes but require explicit consent to obtain and use personal data
  • making withdrawal of consent hassle-free
  • a right to be forgotten allowing people to ask companies to erase all personal information held by those companies
  • it will be easier and cost-free for individuals to require companies to disclose all the personal information those companies hold on them
  • right to data portability will allow individuals to move data securely between services providers.

The scope and applicability of the proposed data protection laws, like the GDPR, is worldwide. The Information Commissioner’s Office will have powers to levy fines of up to £17m, or 4 per cent of a breaching company’s global turnover. In comparison, the current maximum fine for breaching data protection laws in the UK is £500,000, which can only demonstrate how seriously the Government wants companies to take the protection of individuals’ personal data. This could mean fines up to billions of pounds for companies like Facebook or Google.

The proposed changes are intended to help bring the UK in line with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) post Brexit but to also push the UK into the forefront of data protection and online regulation.

In addition to these, new criminal offences could result in unlimited fines for tampering with personal data that has been requested by an individual or re-identifying individuals by piecing many bits of anonymised data together (e.g. IP addresses and internet cookies).

Are UK businesses ready?

Many critics fear that businesses are wholly unprepared for the new laws. Whilst it is difficult to speculate how the changes will impact upon businesses once the rules are in full force and effect, businesses can only be advised to start getting their house in order sooner rather than later. This will involve reviewing current practices, any forms completed by individuals to obtain personal information, contracts with suppliers who have access to personal information you collect and training employees.

About this article

Disclaimer
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

About this article

Read, listen and watch our latest insights

art
  • 28 February 2024
  • Commercial Real Estate

Hidden risks in serviced office agreements

This is usually a fully furnished and equipped office space that is managed by a facility management company and made available for short-term or long-term rentals to businesses, varying from one week to a year, or even longer.

art
  • 27 February 2024
  • Employment

Changing Attitudes to Menopause

We have set out some answers to the frequently asked questions that employers ask when considering how to support a menopausal employee.

art
  • 22 February 2024
  • Employment

Time to take the heat off menopausal women

On 22 February 2024, the EHRC released guidance and resources for employers designed to help employers understand their legal obligations in relation to supporting workers experiencing menopausal symptoms.

Pub
  • 22 February 2024
  • Employment

Talking Employment Law: What to do if you’re at risk of redundancy

In this podcast, Harry Berryman and Rebecca Dowle, members of the employment team, will talk through the steps that need to be taken for a redundancy to be fair and the range of criteria that can be used when determining which employees will be made redundant.

art
  • 21 February 2024
  • Immigration

FAQs Partner Visa UK

Discover the UK Spouse Visa: eligibility, finances, relationship criteria, and the latest updates in 2024 for a successful application.

art
  • 19 February 2024
  • Privacy and Data Protection

The role of Data Protection Officers in ensuring compliance

How many of us receive marketing calls for products and services we did not sign up for?