New data laws debated in Parliament

New data regulations to be introduced to help fix everyday problems for the public

  • Data Minister Julia Lopez will detail modern laws for a data-driven era as Data Protection and Digital Information Bill will be debated today

  • The bill will help fix problems for the public like reducing cookie pop-ups, tackling nuisance calls with bigger fines and improving trust in the way data is handled

  • Debate comes as UK hosts Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum, bringing data experts together for four days of discussions and workshops on global approaches to privacy

New data regulations that will reduce annoying cookie pop ups, crackdown on nuisance calls with bigger fines and contribute £4.7 billion to the UK economy over ten years will be debated in Parliament today.

The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill sets out the UK’s common-sense led data laws and will give organisations greater flexibility to protect personal data, while maintaining high data protection standards.

The Bill will increase fines for nuisance calls and texts from £500,000 to either £17.5 million or up to four per cent of global turnover, whichever is greater, to create tougher punishments for those who pester people with unwanted calls and messages.

The reforms to UK data laws aim to reduce the number of consent pop-ups people see online, which repeatedly ask users to give permission for websites to collect data about their visits.

Before the changes come into effect, the government will work with industry and the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure technology to help people set their preferences automatically is effective and readily available. This will help web users to retain choice and control over how their data is used.

The strengthened regime will seek to ensure data adequacy with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and will modernise the Information Commissioner’s Office through the creation of a statutory board with a chair and chief executive to make sure it remains a world-leading, independent data regulator.

The Bill will make it easier and quicker for people to verify their identity digitally, if they want to, by establishing a framework for the use of trusted and secure digital verification services, and will reduce the number of cookie pop-ups people see online.

The legal changes will improve the UK’s ability to strike international data deals and make these partnerships more secure, allowing British businesses to seize billions of pounds of data trade as a reward of Brexit.

Data Minister Julia Lopez is expected to tell the House today:

"This Bill will maintain the high standards of data protection that British people rightly expect.

"But it will also help the people who are using our data to make our lives healthier, safer, and more prosperous. That’s because we’ve co-designed it with those people, to ensure that our regulation reflects the way real people live their lives and run their businesses."

The Parliamentary debate coincides with the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules (CBPR) Forum in London. Over four days of workshops (Monday 17 - Thursday 20 April) the UK will lead global discussions between government officials, regulators and privacy experts, exploring how global privacy regimes can be more compatible and improve data transfers.

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology
Julia Lopez MP