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Government confirms it will implement EU General Data Protection Regulation



As widely anticipated, it was confirmed in the Queen’s Speech on 21 June that the GDPR will become law in the UK and that a new data protection bill will replace the 1998 Act.  A Government statement said the main elements of the new bill are: 

  • “To establish a new data protection regime for non-law enforcement data processing, replacing the Data Protection Act 1998. The new rules strengthen rights and empower individuals to have more control over their personal data, including a right to be forgotten when individuals no longer want their data to be processed, provided that there are no legitimate grounds for retaining it.”
  • To modernise and update the regime for data processing by law enforcement agencies. The regime will cover both domestic processing and cross-border transfers of personal data.
  • To update the powers and sanctions available to the Information Commissioner.” 

There was no reference to how the Government intends to implement Article 85 of the GDPR which leaves it to the Member States how to reconcile data privacy and freedom of expression and information. It is widely expected that section 32 of the 1998 Act will be retained at least broadly in its current form. 

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