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techUK outlines six principles for data protection


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Technology trade association techUK has set out six principles for a new data protection regime in the UK.

It said this comes as a recommendation to the Government ahead of the response the Data: A new direction consultation.

The principles are outlined in a paper that says they should be embedded into any changes the Government makes in data protection laws following the UK’s leaving the EU. It has indicated that it wishes to create less stringent rules than currently apply under the General Data Protection Regulation.

The first of techUK’s principles is to improve data for research and development with the introduction of an exhaustive list of common processing activities under legitimate interests to support UK based innovators. It says this would provide legal certainty, reduce administrative and legal burdens, and mitigate re-use limitations associated with consent.

Second is to secure strong safeguards for personal data protection and a pro-innovation regulatory environment to maintain high levels of public confidence. This would include ensuring that subject access requests remain free and maintaining the independence of the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Public-private collaboration

Third is to set the UK on track to unlock the value of data, personal and non-personal, across the economy and society. This needs more collaboration between the Government and public and private sectors, with trusted avenues for voluntary data sharing and new reforms for smart and open data.

Number four is to strengthen national cyber resilience to protect the data infrastructure, with appropriate escalation paths for dealing with new risks.

Fifth is to enable the global free flow of data with safeguards. techUK says the Government’s proposal to move to a more proportionate and risk based approach to its adequacy agreements is a positive step, but that it also has to maintain the confidence of international partners.

Finally, there is a need for a firm line against data localisation at home and abroad. This reflects a trend that techUK says poses a threat to future of trade and innovation.

Trust and innovation

Neil Ross, associate director for policy for techUK, said: “Developing a clearer, more trusted and innovation enabling data governance system is one of the most obvious opportunities of Brexit.

“In doing so, the UK must find the right balance between upholding citizens’ rights, allowing data to be re-used for research and innovation, while also supporting global data flows.

“By putting forward these principles for reform, techUK believes the UK can strike this balance and unlock the next wave of data driven innovation. However, the Government will need to be bold and embrace these opportunities, otherwise risks only achieving half-hearted changes, and creating extra compliance for UK businesses without seizing any of the benefits for increasing UK R&D and innovation.”



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