On the 5th of September 2022, the House of Commons announced in the business statement (found here) that the progress of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill will be paused following the appointment of the new Prime Minister, to “allow Ministers to consider the legislation further”. We will continue to monitor the status of this bill.
On the 16th of June 2022, the Department of Media, Culture & Sport (“DCMS”) detailed the response to last year’s consultation on data protection law reform. The Data Reform Bill focuses on eliminating what was descried as “red tape and pointless paperwork”, lowering the barrier for personal data to be used in scientific research, and restructuring the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”). While a copy of the Bill has not yet been published, the press release reveals that the Bill aims to cover the following:
- Remove the consent requirement for cookies for a small number of purposes, which have not yet been set out. Consent requirement for analytics cookies will be removed, as they will be treated similarly to “strictly necessary” cookies. Consent requirements will be removed for all cookies when automated technology is widely available to help users manage online preferences.
- Create a limited list of “legitimate interests” for processing, for which organisations will not need to apply a balancing test. This proposal will proceed but with a narrower list than suggested in the initial consultation.
- Remove the requirement for a Data Protection Impact Assessments under Article 35 GDPR, an Article 30 GDPR Records of Processing and mandatory DPOs under Articles 37 to 39 GDPR. Instead, organisations should have a “privacy management programme”, which covers appointing a suitable senior individual responsible for the programme, ensuring organisations implement risk assessment tools which help assess, identify and mitigate risks, and a more flexible record keeping requirement.
- Implement changes to processing personal data for scientific research. This would include creating a statutory definition of “scientific research”, and incorporating broad consent for scientific research.
- Introduce a cost ceiling for complying with a subject access request, and amend the threshold for refusing to comply with a subject access request from ‘manifestly unfounded or excessive’ to ‘vexatious or excessive’.
- Extend the ‘soft opt-in’ so that it can be relied on by non-commercial organisations, campaign groups and political parties.
- Increase fines for non-compliance with PECR to GDPR levels.
- Regarding the ICO, changes include:
- amending the process for issuing penalties, such as the power to compel witnesses to answer questions in investigations;
- removing the requirement for Prior Consultation with the ICO on high-risk processing;
- giving the ICO new, ‘clearer’ objectives, requiring consideration of economic growth, innovation and competition when making assessments.
DCMS also announced that it does not plan to implement several proposals from the initial consultation, such as introducing a nominal fee for subject access requests, raising the threshold for personal data breach reporting, and removing the restrictions on automated decision-making under Article 22 GDPR.
Please contact Jose Saras if you have any questions regarding the above.
The material contained in this article is only for general review of the topics covered and does not constitute any legal advice. No legal or business decision should be based on its content.