Mel PoluckEditorFriday 15 September 2017

Data Bill to update law 'for digital age'

Data Protection Bill outlines laws to regulate use of data ahead of Brexit and empower people to 'take control of their data'.

The Data Protection Bill has updated existing data protection laws to ensure the UK has legislation “fit for digital for the digital age”, ahead of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The Bill, introduced in the House of Lords this week, replaces the Data Protection Act 1998 and aims to provides a framework for data protection to “ensure that the UK is prepared for the future after we have left the EU”, with stronger sanctions for malpractice.

It does this by aligning UK law with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force in May 2018.

Government has said that it wants the Bill to “empower people to take control of their data” by setting new standards in accordance with the GDPR that will give people more control over use of their data, providing new rights to move or delete personal data.

Culture​ ​Secretary,​ ​Karen Bradley​ ​said: "The Data Protection Bill will give people more control over their data, support businesses in their use of data, and prepare Britain for Brexit. In the digital world strong cyber security and data protection go hand in hand. This Bill is a key component of our work to secure personal information online.”

When it comes to ​cyber​ ​security, the Bill is vague. A Department for Digital Culture Media & Sport factsheet says: “The Bill will require organisations that handle personal data to evaluate the risks of processing such data and implement appropriate measures to mitigate those risks. For many organisations such measures will likely need to include effective cyber security controls”.

The DCMS said in a statement: “The Data Protection Act 1998 has served us well and placed the UK at the front of global data protection standards. With this Bill we are modernising the data protection laws in the UK to make them fit for purpose for our increasingly digital economy and society”.

The second reading of the Bill will take place in the House of Lords on 10 October.


Read factsheets on various aspects of the Bill. 

Watch a video on UKA Live: 'GDPR ‘Ready or not?’