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Data Protection Leader
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Volume: 14 Issue: 9
(September 2017)

UK: Bill "adds extra layer of complexity to GDPR"

The UK Government published, on 14 September 2017, the Data Protection Bill 2017 (‘the Bill’), following its statement of intent made in August 2017. In particular, the Bill aims to implement the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) (‘GDPR’) and the Data Protection Directive with Respect to Law Enforcement (Directive (EU) 2016/680), as well as provide a framework for the processing of personal data by intelligence services.

William Long, Partner at Sidley Austin LLP, told Data Protection Leader, “The Bill is both complex and lengthy and its structure is also somewhat confusing as it contains separate parts relating to processing by law enforcement and intelligence agencies that replicate many of the provisions in the general processing section of the Bill. The Bill attempts to track the Data Protection Act 1998 to the extent possible, whilst also implementing the GDPR. It supplements and must be read alongside the GDPR, which further increases the challenge of interpreting the Bill. Some would argue that the Bill could have been drafted in a clearer form and that follows a more logical structure […] The GDPR is itself a complex and sometimes confusing piece of legislation and the Bill adds an extra layer of complexity. However, it is important to remember that in most cases, achieving compliance with the GDPR will also ensure compliance with the Bill, and vice versa. Organisations therefore need to focus on the significant practical challenges of compliance with the GDPR and should not be too concerned by the interaction between the Bill and the GDPR, especially as the Bill is still in draft form.”

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