Govt outlines intention to overhaul data regime

The UK government has announced plans to reform data protection and create a new regime “based on common sense, not box ticking” that will also “cement the country’s position as a science superpower”.

The proposals are be built on elements of the current UK data protection regime, the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018, but would remove “disproportionate burdens”, such as the processes that both an SME and a global tech might face under the current regime, despite their operational differences.

Under the proposals, a new governance model is planned for the Information Commissioner’s Office. The remit of the ICO would be broadened, which the government said would “empower the information commissioner to champion sectors and businesses that are using personal data in new, innovative and responsible ways to benefit people’s lives in areas such as healthcare - building on the use of data in tackling COVID-19 - and financial services”.

Reforms are also being considered to help ensure that organisations can better mitigate the risk of bias in their algorithmic systems. “These aim to help organisations identify what is driving bias, so that they can take steps to make sure their services are not inadvertently biased or replicating societal and historic discrimination, or drawing inferences that could be deemed unfair (for example, insurers predicting someone’s fitness levels from their purchasing habits),” DCMS stated.

Matthew Fell, CBI chief policy director, commented: “We hope to see the UK maintain its high level of data protections and remain in line with international standards to safeguard our thriving digital economy.

“Businesses will be reading the detail carefully over the coming weeks and are eager to work with government to reduce the burden and costs on firms, and create a system that promotes innovation and builds trust in tech.

“Companies are grappling with a suite of digital regulatory changes from content liability to digital competition. This consultation is a prime chance for government, regulators and industry to create a joined-up digital strategy that gives firms the long-term certainty needed to invest in the UK.”


The public consultation on reforms to the UK’s data protection regime can be found here. The consultation closes at 23:45 on 19th November 2021.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories


Financial institutions were early adopters of cyber security and insurance. Are they still on top of the game?
Managing huge amounts of sensitive data online makes financial institutions a prime target for hackers. As such, the sector was an early cohort for insurers in creating cyber cover. Since then, the market has evolved almost beyond recognition. It continues to challenge itself to this day, complying with rigorous regulatory demands and implementing avant-garde enhancements to keep abreast of the ever-changing risks. Published June 2021

Manufacturing: An industry at risk amid great technological change
Of the many sectors of business, manufacturing companies are among the most at risk from cyber threats. How has the sector evolved to make it so vulnerable and what does the task of managing cyber exposure in a manufacturing company look like? CIR’s latest podcast with Tokio Marine HCC sought to answer all these questions and more. Published April 2021

Advertisement