The proposed Data Reform Bill is an attempt to move away from the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation, although Brexit saw most of it adopted into British law.
Those annoying pop-ups that appear in the foreground on many websites, called cookie consents, are a particular issue for many. Celebrities such as Elon Musk calling for consent to be built into website browsers, rather than on every website.
Although cookies can be useful, too many are litle more than a means of targeting advertisements at you. They can also determine what you do on the site, your whereabouts in the world, what device you are using and where you go online afterwards.
The Data Reform Bill also proposes:
- Removing the requirement for small and medium-sized businesses to employ data-protection officers and reducing bureaucracy.
- Enabling the Information Commissioner's Office to focus upon bigger issues.
- Widening data access for public services and research and minimising duplication of consent.
Reaction to the proposals is mixed, with industry broadly more supportive than privacy campaigners.
TechUK, which worked with the government on the proposals, welcomes the suggested changes. Chief Executive Julian David says 'the reforms... find a good balance between making the UK's data-protection system clearer'.
However, the Open Rights Group says the bill a 'bonfire of rights', and that data privacy controls should not be viewed as a burden.
Expect this to take some time to run through Parliament!