Stay Legal UK

Data Protection Laws: what’s now and what’s new?

The Data Protection Act 2018 controls how your personal information is used by individuals such as companies, businesses or the UK government.

The UK implemented the Act by virtue of the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’)

The Data Protection principles are as follows:-

Data must be:-

  1. Used fairly lawfully and transparently
  2. Used for specified explicit purposes
  3. Must be adequate relevant and limited to all that was necessary
  4. Accurate to date
  5. Kept for no longer than is necessary
  6. Handled in a manner which ensures appropriate security

Stronger legal protection is available with more sensitive information, such as:

  • Race
  • ethnic background
  • political opinions
  • sex life
  • Health
  • genetics
  • Union membership
  • biometrics

What rights do you have under the Act?

  • The Data Protection Act provides you with a number of rights, including:
  • You have the right to be informed about how your data is being used
  • You have a right to access that data
  • You have a right to have the data updated
  • You have the right to have the data erase
  • You have the right to stop the processing of the data
  • You have the right to allow your data to be reused



The Data Reform Bill

Four years ago, UK implemented the European Union’s Data laws by virtue of the GDPR.

As we have now left the EU, the British Government is of the view that many organisations have been held back from using data. It claims that the use of pop ups and the one tick box solution to all have, in essence, been detrimental to many businesses.

Consumer Protection

The new law seeks to work in line with the UK’s existing Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which aim to prevent companies contacting people for marketing purposes without consent.

The fines will increase from the current maximum of £500,000.00 and mirror the current GDPR penalties which are up to four per cent global turnover or £17.5 million, whichever is greater.

Government consultation has led to calls for PECR rules to be updated to cut down on ‘user consent’ pop-ups and banners – the irritating boxes users currently see on every website – when browsing the internet. No legalisation changes have been announced yet.

At the moment, actual changes to the law are minimal. There are concerns that the UK Government’s approach moving forward may impact the individual. The goal is to make the transfer of data as smoothly and cheaply as possible but remaining secure. In the world we live in where the internet knows more about us than we know about ourselves, any changes in the Law can have a significant impact.

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