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Data protection laws set to tighten in the UK

This move from the government marks another step toward GDPR, now less than a year away.

By Tom Ball

The UK government has put forward a bill on data protection laws to empower the British people in terms of the control they have over the use of their personal data.

Some of the changes proposed include heightening the ability to withdraw consent, easier access to data held by organisations, and the ability for people to request the deletion of data.

The Digital Minister, Matt Hancock, is behind the newly proposed bill that is also set to bring the General Data Protection Regulation into UK law, regulation set to go live in less than a year.

“The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world… It will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit,” said Mr Hancock in a statement on the proposal.

GDPR has caused concern among organisations as the new regulation will make fines much more damaging and easier to issue against companies that fail to meet data protection standards.

The amount could be as much as 4% of global turnover, which is thought could amount to an extinction event for a severely fined firm. At present the maximum fine cannot exceed £500,000.

Data breaches have spiked in recent times, with news of huge numbers of people being left exposed becoming common place among headlines. An example of a significant data breach in the UK earlier this year was the one that hit Wonga, the payday loans firm, with 245,000 UK customers impacted.

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READ MORE: Countdown to GDPR: Everything you need to know with just one year to go

Now that GDPR is less than one year away, firms are reaching their last chance to bolster their data protection practices. However, in recent research from Veritas, only 9% of UK firms were found to be GDPR, having shown prompt action in light of the major regulatory changes.

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