Queen's Speech: Data Protection Bill

In addition to the many Brexit-related pieces of proposed legislation in today's Queen's Speech (21 June), there is, as trailed in the Government's manifesto, a proposal for a new UK Data Protection Bill. It is proposed that this will implement the EU General Data Protection Regulation (which will come into force in all EU member states without further domestic legislation on 25 May 2018 in any event) and the EU Directive on the processing of personal data relating to law enforcement. It is noted that the new Data Protection Bill will help "to put the UK in the best position to maintain our ability to share data with other EU member states and internationally after we leave the EU." The Bill also proposes to give people new rights to "require major social media companies to delete information held about them at the age of 18" and to increase the powers of the Information Commissioner. Although data protection law is rooted in civil / human rights (the right to a private and family life), the Bill notes the importance of data to the UK digital economy and that a new framework is needed that is suitable for our digital age. It remains to be seen whether any ambiguities and omissions in the GDPR will be resolved through a new UK Bill which will replace our existing Data Protection Act 1998. 

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