The UK’s current data protection laws are predominantly based on EU legislation. This was necessary to ensure the UK, as a member of the EU, complied with the necessary regulations. Now the UK is no longer a member of the EU following Brexit, our data protection laws no longer have to be compliant with those EU regulations.
Government proposals on the future of UK data protection laws following Brexit
The Government most recently set out its proposals for data protection laws moving forward which suggest the law will be led by UK common law. With data protection being an ever-changing area of law, this will allow the UK law to develop, so necessary changes can be implemented without delay. In particular, the rise of artificial intelligence is set to play a major role in a future administration and when ready, the law will need to adapt quickly to allow its use.
This approach aims to support innovation as it would prevent unnecessary restrictions that would otherwise be in place if EU regulations were enforced. The proposals go further to suggest the approach would be based on proportionality as opposed to the current cautious approach, which would again allow more flexibility.
In practice, this would work by introducing legislation as a framework to an individual’s data rights and should any issues arise the Court will be able to make decisions. As always, any case law will set a precedent for future cases and establish how similar issues should be treated moving forward. This potentially creates an issue in that those issues not brought before a Court will not be decided upon and may remain a grey area.
Having dealt with the current EU regulation, it is fair to say that the law set out is clear and provides certainty. Since its introduction in May 2018, the UK has learned to adapt to the required ways of working and it is expected the new legislation will not veer too far from the current rules. The proposals appear to largely relate to data protection’s impact on commercial and innovation work.
How Nelsons can help
Stuart Parris is a Trainee Solicitor at Nelsons.
If you need any advice around data protection, please do contact a member of our expert Dispute Resolution team in Derby, Leicester or Nottingham who will be able to assist. Please call 0800 024 1976 or contact us via our online form.