Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden.
Jane Imrie

Digital Secretary: New data laws to “deliver a Brexit dividend” for UK businesses

The government has today unveiled plans for an overhaul of data laws following the UK’s departure from the European Union.

The government has outlined the first territories with which it will prioritise striking ‘data adequacy’ partnerships now it has left the EU as the United States, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the Dubai International Finance Centre and Colombia.

It has also been confirmed that future partnerships with India, Brazil, Kenya and Indonesia are being prioritised.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden commented: “Now that we have left the EU I’m determined to seize the opportunity by developing a world-leading data policy that will deliver a Brexit dividend for individuals and businesses across the UK.

“That means seeking exciting new international data partnerships with some of the world’s fastest growing economies, for the benefit of British firms and British customers alike.”

The government has also today named New Zealand Privacy Commissioner John Edwards as its preferred candidate to be the UK’s next Information Commissioner.

As head of the UK regulator responsible for enforcing data protection law, John will be empowered to go beyond the regulator’s traditional role of focusing only on protecting data rights, focusing on advancing further innovation and economic growth.

Oliver Dowden continued: “It means reforming our own data laws so that they’re based on common sense, not box-ticking. And it means having the leadership in place at the Information Commissioner’s Office to pursue a new era of data-driven growth and innovation.

“John Edwards’s vast experience makes him the ideal candidate to ensure data is used responsibly to achieve those goals.”

John Edwards added: “It is a great honour and responsibility to be considered for appointment to this key role as a watchdog for the information rights of the people of the United Kingdom.

“There is a great opportunity to build on the wonderful work already done and I look forward to the challenge of steering the organisation and the British economy into a position of international leadership in the safe and trusted use of data for the benefit of all.”

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