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LegalBritain must be careful with data protection laws overhaul, claims legal expert

Britain must be careful with data protection laws overhaul, claims legal expert

BRITAIN needs to be careful with how it overhauls data protection laws and strike a balance between helping businesses, facilitating international trade and protecting consumers, a legal expert has warned.

Last week Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan pledged to scrap existing General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and devise new laws to reduce red tape.

It could see small businesses benefit from smoother processes and reduced costs, but could potentially pose a risk to individuals’ data and privacy.

Lauren McKee, Senior Lawyer at Manchester-based commercial law firm LegalVision, said: “Data is like gold to businesses – it can help keep current customers, attract new ones by learning more about them and provide interesting data points that drive business decisions.

“As it stands now, GDPR can be tricky and expensive for businesses, especially smaller ones, to comply with.

“Small businesses need to spend a lot of time and cost to be fully compliant with the GDPR, including investing in state of the art security measures, requirements to document internal privacy processes, running risk assessments, appointing people to particular roles, making marketing compliant with the laws and so on.

“It will be interesting to see how Britain’s attempt at creating its own data protection rules manifests itself as it looks towards moving away from existing EU laws.

“While we don’t yet know exactly what this will involve, it is very important that whatever happens we manage to strike the right balance between making things easier for businesses without putting individuals’ data at risk of being abused or jeopardising international business relationships.”

Since the GDPR was introduced by the EU in 2018, businesses have had to comply with a series of regulations devised to protect customers’ data.

The UK Government is looking at ways to reduce the red tape, but recently paused a draft data reform bill.

Officials claim smoother processes will help businesses save up to £1billion across ten years.

But experts are keeping a close eye for further information on exactly how the new laws would affect day-to-day lives and affect international business.

Lauren added: “We have to be careful with how these new laws are devised so we don’t remove ourselves too far from the European Union’s laws.

“The UK has an adequacy decision which basically says that the UK’s data protection laws provide adequate protection for personal data, and we don’t want to do anything that would risk that status.

“We also need to keep in mind that small businesses who will still work with the EU, particularly online businesses, may end up in a situation where they face twice the work and costs as they will have to comply with EU laws and new British laws.

“Overhauling the UK’s data protection laws isn’t a straightforward move, there are a lot of important factors that will need to be considered that affect businesses’ and consumers’ day-to-day lives.”

LegalVision is a commercial law firm that provides businesses with affordable and ongoing assistance through their industry-first membership scheme. 

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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