UK to Replace GDPR with 'Consumer-Friendly' Privacy Regime

The UK's new culture secretary decries "red tape," but detractors warn that complexity could arise.

2 Min Read
data privacy

The U.K. government plans to scrap the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the EU's data privacy regime it adopted before leaving the union.

Michelle Donelan, the secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, announced the move during a speech at the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, England.

Instead, the government wants to adopt its own "business- and consumer-friendly British data protection system."

The U.K.'s replacement would be "clearer, for businesses to navigate. No longer will our businesses be shackled by lots of unnecessary red tape," the minister said during her speech.

The move is in line with the Truss administration's plan to scrap all remaining EU laws and replace them with British-focused alternatives.

During a speech earlier in the week, the chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, announced the government would "review, replace or repeal retained EU law holding our country back."

That planned review would cover GDPR — which provides citizens with greater transparency and control of how companies store and process their data.

Minister Donelan said the U.K.'s prospective alternative "will protect consumer privacy and keep their data safe, whilst retaining our data adequacy so businesses can trade freely."

Related:CCPA and GDPR: The Data Center Pitfalls of the ‘Right to be Forgotten’

The idea to remove GDPR from British law has been on the cards for some time. In June, the government published results from a consultation on what scrapping the existing data regimen would have. Those results claim British business would save $1.14 billion (£1 billion) by removing "bureaucracy, red tape and pointless paperwork."

The proposed data regime changes include removing the need for small businesses to undertake data protection impact assessments (DPIAs) or appoint a data protection officer.

It would also focus on reducing "user consent" forms — instead adopting an opt-in model to allow users to set their online cookie preferences to opt out automatically.

The planned changes were being led by former culture secretary Nadine Dorries. Donelan replaced Dorries as culture secretary during Prime Minister Liz Truss's recent ascension to power. Donelan was most recently the U.K. education secretary but only held that position for just 35 hours.

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About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Assistant Editor, AI Business

Ben Wodecki is assistant editor at AI Business, a publication dedicated to the latest trends in artificial intelligence.

AI Business

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