The United Kingdom today launched a package of plans to boost the British economy. One component of this is that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is coming up with an alternative to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is European privacy legislation. Current laws and regulations are very strict in the eyes of the British government and deficient in some respects.
This is evidenced by the presentation of plans by Minister of Digital Affairs Oliver Dowden.
The UK wants to remove barriers to data sharing
Data and data sharing is at the heart of innovation and the global digital economy, according to the UK. It stimulates international trade and scientific research, and helps security services fight cybercrime. The British economy is largely driven by data sharing. The United States, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Dubai, Colombia, India, Brazil, Kenya and Indonesia alone are worth more than £80 billion.
Under current GDPR rules, according to the British government, $11 billion will be lost. The UK believes that European privacy rules create too many barriers in the area of data sharing. The Johnson administration wants to do something about it. She wants to get rid of the strict and strict rules and come up with an alternative herself. “The aim is to work quickly and creatively to develop global partnerships that make it easier for UK institutions to share data with key markets and rapidly growing economies,” the government said.
‘Brexit is an opportunity to create ground-breaking data policies’
Digital Affairs Minister Oliver Dowden is optimistic and looks forward to crafting a “global leading data policy”. Leaving the European Union (Brexit) is an opportunity to make that happen. “We are looking for exciting new international data partnerships with some of the fastest growing economies in the world. This will benefit both British businesses and British consumers,” says Dowden.
The man responsible for shaping the new data-sharing policy is John Edwards. In his previous position, he was the chair of the New Zealand Privacy Watch. He said the UK government’s intention was “a great opportunity to build on the great work that has already been done”. He said he looked forward to “leading the organization and the British economy towards a position of international leadership in the safe and reliable use of data” as head of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The ICO, which is comparable to the Dutch data protection authority in our country, ensures that personal data and other confidential data are properly protected.
Dowden: “The GDPR falls short in several points”
Dowden’s plans focus on different aspects, he says in an interview with telegraph. For example, he doesn’t like the fact that GDPR works the same way for all companies, no matter if they are big or small. Everyone has to stick to the same system, and according to the minister it has the opposite effect. He fears small businesses will be mired in the jungle of rules imposed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). “We can’t expect the same from a small family business as we can from a big social media company,” he says in the interview.
Dowden also believes that the GDPR falls short on several points. For example, he mentions a pastor who is not allowed to distribute newsletters to churchgoers, as this would fall under marketing. Scientists will also not be able to do their work correctly, although he did not give an example.
Finally, the Minister is not satisfied with the “notifications of useless cookies”. The Cookie Act states that websites may not place cookies on (mobile) devices to collect information. This is because visitors must “freely, unambiguously, informed and specifically” consent to the processing of their data. For this reason, pop-ups appear asking for your permission to place cookies on your computer, smartphone or tablet. This does not apply to functional and analytics cookies, but to third-party and tracking cookies.
Johnson wants to turn his country into a “science and technology superpower”
At the end of December 2020, the United Kingdom became the first member country to leave the European Union. In order to continue trading with companies on the European mainland, the European Commission and the United Kingdom have agreed that European privacy laws and regulations will remain in effect for the time being.
At the end of June, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders announced that the EU Executive Council had concluded definitive agreements with the British on the exchange of personal data. A sufficient resolution has been made for this purpose. This is a decision that ensures that the UK has an adequate level of protection for personal data. He described this as “an essential part of the new relationship with the United Kingdom”.
The Johnson administration’s plans are not final yet, but they are at an advanced stage. The appointment of the new chief of staff to the ICO to monitor privacy proves this. The UK also says it has agreements with the US and nine other countries to share (personal) data. Johnson wants to make the UK “the best country in the world to start and grow a digital business”. Data protection rules become “more ambitious and innovative” while providing guarantees of “reliable and secure privacy standards”. According to the Prime Minister, with these rules and intentions, his country will become a “scientific and technological superpower”.
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