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UK will implement EU data protection law

04/11/16

Information commissioner outlines plan for supporting General Data Protection Regulation

A Government minister has confirmed that the UK will implement Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), despite the intention of leaving the EU, and winning the support of Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley made the intention clear at a recent hearing of the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee. She said the GDPR will come into force in the spring of 2018, when the UK will still be an EU member, “and therefore it would be expected and quite normal for us to opt into the GDPR”.

The plan is to look later at how the Government can help British organisations with data protection while ensuring the public is protected.

Elizabeth DenhamDenham (pictured) has used an Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) blogpost to describe this as “good news for the UK”, adding: “The digital economy is primarily built upon the collection and exchange of data, including large amounts of personal data – much of it sensitive. Growth in the digital economy requires public confidence in the protection of this information.”

She adds that the main shift in the implementation of the GDPR will be in giving people greater control over their data, and that the ICO plans, within the next month, to publish a revised timeline setting out the areas of guidance it will prioritise over the next six months.

“I acknowledge that there may still be questions about how the GDPR would work on the UK leaving the EU but this should not distract from the important task of compliance with GDPR by 2018,” she says.

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