'Data: a new direction' consultation – Law Society response

The proposals

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) consultation, ‘Data: a new direction’, is focused on reforming the UK's data protection regime.

The consultation asks respondents to consider reforms that create an ambitious, pro-growth, and innovation-friendly data protection regime.

The reforms look to help businesses and individuals use data responsibly.

Our view

We support the government’s vision of responsible data use as a key driver of economic growth and innovation.

However, there’s a risk that these reforms could impact how effective the UK’s data privacy regime continues to be.

The fundamental right to privacy is underpinned by broad international agreement that personal data belongs to the individual, not to businesses.

Any perception that the scales may start to tip in favour of businesses using personal data for wider reasons, at the cost of privacy, runs the risk of the UK no longer being seen as a global leader in data protection.

Similarly, any unnecessary change to the current, stable data protection framework in the UK, could cause unwelcome uncertainty and additional cost.

What this means for solicitors

The proposed reforms would have implications for:

Next steps

The consultation closed on 19 November 2021.

DCMS is analysing responses to this first step in the review of the data protection regime, and will produce its thoughts on future reform in 2022.

Read the consultation on the GOV.UK website

Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS