The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a consultation on data reform.
Launched on 10 September 2021, the wide-ranging consultation focuses on proposed changes to the UK’s data landscape.
As part of this, a new governance model is planned for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), including an independent board and chief executive to mirror the governance structures of other regulators such as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Ofcom.
The Government has stated that it aims to ‘to create a pro-growth and trusted data regime that unleashes data’s power across the economy and society, for the benefit of British citizens and British businesses.’
According to DCMS, the reforms outlined in this consultation will:
- ‘Cement our position as a science superpower, simplifying data use by researchers and developers of AI and other cutting edge technologies.
- ‘Build on the unprecedented and life-saving use of data to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
- ‘Secure the UK’s status as a global hub for the free and responsible flow of personal data – complementing our ambitious agenda for new trade deals and data partnerships with some of the world’s fastest growing economies.
- ‘Reinforce the responsibility of businesses to keep personal information safe, while empowering them to grow and innovate.
- ‘Ensure that the ICO remains a world-leading regulator, enabling people to use data responsibly to achieve economic and social goals.’
DCMS has stressed that the protection of people’s personal data will be at the heart of planned data reform.
The Government has also recognised that the current regime places disproportionate burdens on many organisations. Therefore, the Government is seeking to create a data regime that will move away from the current “one-size-fits-all” approach.
DCMS’s consultation, Data: a new direction, will be open to responses until 19th November.