UK Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said the new policy will give them freedom to chart its own course and it could lead to an end to irritating cookie popups and consent requests online. But any changes will have been accepted by the European Union, otherwise data transfers between the UK and EU could be frozen.
To oversee the transformation, a new information commissioner will be put in charge. John Edwards, currently the privacy commissioner of New Zealand, has been named as the government’s preferred candidate to replace Elizabeth Denham, whose term in office will end on 31 October after a three-month extension.
Dowden said he wants to develop a world-leading data policy after Brexit to help individuals and businesses across the UK.
“It means reforming our own data laws so that they’re based on common sense, not box-ticking. And it means having the leadership in place at the Information Commissioner’s Office to pursue a new era of data-driven growth and innovation. John Edwards’ vast experience makes him the ideal candidate to ensure data is used responsibly to achieve those goals,” said Dowden.
UK, even after Brexit, follow the GDPR data protection rules introduced by the EU in May 2018 under the Data Protection Act.
The rules impose strict restrictions on what data controllers can do with individuals’ personal data. The GDPR has been criticised by many stating its over-reliance on consent-based permissions. Some people believe it provides little meaningful protection to citizens and is only a way to box-ticking.
A UK government spokesperson said that the Boris Johnson government hopes to prioritise “innovative and responsible uses of data” so that it can “boost growth, especially for startups and small firms, speed up scientific discoveries and improve public services.”