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Tech secretary introduces updated post-Brexit data reform bill

UK data bill
Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in London

The government is attempting to push through reforms of the UK’s data laws in parliament today to provide an alternative to EU data protection rules.

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said the reformed Data Protection and Digital Information Bill will be “tailored to the UK’s own needs” and cut “red tape” for businesses.

The proposed legislation aims to reduce the burden of data policy on businesses whilst maintaining international trade opportunities.

The bill was first introduced last summer but was paused in the autumn for ministers to work with business leaders and data experts on developing the policies.

The government has said the new version of the bill will take the best elements of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and use them to create a business-friendly framework. The new data policy is expected to remain in line to some degree with EU regulations to maintain international data flows.

The government is also keen to tackle the cookie popup windows with its reformed regulation by providing organisations with “greater confidence” about when they can process user data without consent.

“Co-designed with business from the start, this new bill ensures that a vitally important data protection regime is tailored to the UK’s own needs and our customs,” said Donelan.

“Our system will be easier to understand, easier to comply with, and take advantage of the many opportunities of post-Brexit Britain. No longer will our businesses and citizens have to tangle themselves around the barrier-based European GDPR.”

Donelan added: “Our new laws release British businesses from unnecessary red tape to unlock new discoveries, drive forward next-generation technologies, create jobs and boost our economy.”