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Britain will diverge from GDPR as it forges new path on data protection

© Sandy Manoa

Britain is set to diverge from GDPR as it works on its own data protection legislation. Currently, the UK benefits from data adequacy agreements but this may change when new legislation is put into place. For international businesses and UK companies, data security has become important as consumers have more powers to request and correct information held about them.

While it is not anticipated that the UK will diverge too much from GDPR, it will set its own data privacy rules as an independent nation, which businesses will need to adapt to in the coming years ahead.

As the UK negotiates new free trade agreements, data protection and data flows in the digital economy are a key focus for ministers. And although the UK is likely to maintain strict data regulations, divergence in some areas may give UK consumers more powers to address data violations. 

With a string of high profile data breaches affecting British business in the last several years, there has been an increased focus on investing in data security devices, such has hard drive destroyers and degaussing machines. Other tools in the arsenal include increased cybersecurity protocols, hardened firewalls and companies embarking on training initiatives to help employees protect their data as well as customer data.

Among some of the unanswered questions for businesses will be how to comply with new laws when data is transferred between the UK and the EU, as well as the US. However, the government has hinted that changing the UK’s data protection regime would only be done so following consultations with UK businesses.