Michelle Donelan, who has recently been appointed as Secretary of State for DCMS, announced that the planned bespoke regime is aimed to further simplify the UK data protection regime due to the UK GDPR "limiting the potential" of UK businesses.
“I am announcing that we will be replacing GDPR with our own business and consumer-friendly, British data protection system,” she said.
"Our plan will protect consumer privacy and keep their data safe, whilst retaining our data adequacy so businesses can trade freely.”
It was also stated that the Government believes it can maintain data adequacy without using the GDPR, following regimes similar to those in Israel, Japan, South Korea, Canada and New Zealand.
This announcement comes somewhat as a surprise following the Government's post-Brexit introduction of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill. The draft Bill contained amendments to the UK data protection regime, including (but not limited to) reforms to the accountability framework, international personal data transfers and subject access requests. Therefore, this announcement creates uncertainty and confusion on how this will impact the new Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, which has now been delayed due to the recent parliamentary changes.
Consequently, this leaves the question of whether the new draft bill will be abandoned or whether it will be applied to create some changes to the GDPR quickly whilst the new bespoke regime is created.
The details of how the Government plans to implement and simplify the UK's data protection regime remain unclear - we will await further details. We are also monitoring the developments closely and will be reporting on any further announcements and implications. In the meantime, if you would need advice on or are concerned about the possible impact, please contact one of our data protection specialists below.