Data Protection Bill Digest

Following the announcement in the Queen’s Speech that the Conservative Government will deliver on their manifesto pledge to bring forward a new law for protecting personal data, this week, the Government has set out their intentions for the new Data Protection Bill.

The new Bill marks the beginning of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)’s journey into UK law and sets out the Government’s visions for the future of data protection in the UK.

In his letter of intent, Matt Hancock MP, Minister of State for Digital states that it “will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit.”

The Bill seeks to achieve this by introducing the rights set out in the GDPR, including the rights to be forgotten and data portability, as well as exercising a number of derogations. The notable derogations, for the games and interactive entertainment industry, that the UK will be introducing to the GDPR include:

Right to be forgotten – as set out in the Conservative manifesto, the UK intends to expand the right to be forgotten, to have a specific requirement on social media companies to erase personal data held on a user from when they were under 18 if requested to do so.

Age of consent – the GDPR allows the UK to determine the age at which a child may consent to the processing of their personal data, and the new Bill indicates that this will be set at 13.  

Exemptions for research – the Government will ensure that significant exemptions will be brought forward to allow the processing of data for research purposes.

Most welcome in the Bill’s statement of intent, is the assertion that the Government will seek to ensure that data flows between the UK and EU, as well as third countries, remain uninterrupted following our exit from the EU. It rightly acknowledges the significant importance of cross border data transfers to the UK economy which it states have a larger impact on growth than traditional goods flows.  

We have repeatedly emphasised the importance of ensuring that the free flow of data between the UK and EU continues to the games industry, and this statement of intent is a welcome step in the right direction.

We will be closely following and keeping you updated on the Bill’s passage through Parliament, which we expect to commence in September.

If you’ve got any questions or would like to hear more about our data protection and policy work please contact Marianna