ICO says UK should adopt EU-style data protection rules post-Brexit

Elizabeth Denham said the UK needs tougher penalties for people who breach regulation


UK information commissioner Elizabeth Denham has made her first speech after taking on the role, announcing her commitment to transforming the UK's data privacy laws, suggesting an EU-like policy needs to be put in place.

She explained research by the ICO revealed only one in four Brits trust UK businesses with their data and the primary aim of her five years in office is to change that, building a culture of data trust in the country.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"At the end of my five year term my wish is that we are at a place where citizens and consumers have much more confidence in organisations' use of personal data," she said. "I want that survey figure of one in four to go up."

This will be done by transforming the UK's data and protection policies, aligning them with the EU's mission. It will be a "progressive regulatory regime that stands up to scrutiny, that doesn't leave the UK open to having rocks thrown at it by other regimes. And that has consistency and adequacy with the Europe."

Europe's new privacy laws, which come into effect in 2018, will come down harder on businesses that don't comply with the regulations, including hefty fines - up to 4% of a company's annual turnover.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Although Denham didn't reveal whether such fines would be imposed on UK companies should they not meet the guidelines, she suggested such action was necessary in order to protect the UK trade and UK citizens.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"The fact is, no matter what the future legal relationship between the UK and Europe, personal information will need to flow," she explained. "It is fundamental to the digital economy. In a global economy we need consistency of law and standards the GDPR is a strong law, and once we are out of Europe, we will still need to be deemed adequate or essentially equivalent."

Denham added that she's currently in talks with ministers and senior officials in government to help it come up with a fair set of policies that should be transformational rather than negatively affecting business.

"Legislative change does bring nervousness, but it also brings opportunity. These changes stronger data protection law and enforcement  are aimed at inspiring public trust and confidence," she concluded.

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now


Business strategy

Non voyage: Coronavirus, Brexit and the future of business travel

1 Jul 2020
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

UK data laws after Brexit: Your questions answered

30 Jun 2020
social media

Social media and the death of truth

29 May 2020
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

ICO to relax GDPR enforcement during coronavirus economic downturn

16 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Business operations

Nvidia overtakes Intel as most valuable US chipmaker

9 Jul 2020

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020

The best server solution for your SMB

26 Jun 2020