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UK Government confirms GDPR implementation

The UK Government announced in the Queen’s Speech on 21 June 2017 a number of measures relevant to digital business including the introduction of a new ‘Digital Charter’ and a new data protection bill.

Nick Fenner, Partner at TLT LLP, comments that the new data protection bill is likely to replicate the requirements of the GDPR. “The commitment to implement the GDPR is not a new pledge except to the extent that the Speech clarifies that it is intended to maintain an equivalent regime after the UK leaves the EU by adopting new legislation,” said Fenner. “This is good news for data driven digital businesses, as hopefully it will facilitate a level playing field between UK and its EU neighbours post Brexit.”

However, a lack of clarity on Brexit regarding its impact on UK based digital businesses is concerning, according to Fenner. “If the UK leaves the EU without agreement on access to the Digital Single Market, UK based digital businesses will be at a disadvantage when accessing customers outside the UK. While the proposed harmonisation of UK data protection rules with the new EU regime may set the groundwork for a bilateral agreement, the details will still need to be negotiated.”

The new Digital Charter was not further elaborated on beyond the details included in the Conservative Party Manifesto, which referred to ‘a new legal framework that balances freedom with protection,’ and the introduction of stricter requirements for digital terms and conditions, signatures, and contract cancellations.

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