The Government’s determination to keep UK data protection law in line with that of the EU after Brexit was outlined by the minister responsible today - but with few details of how it will be achieved.
Matt Hancock (pictured), minister of state for digital and culture, told a House of Lords committee that he would bring forward legislation in the next parliamentary session to amend the Data Protection Act 1998 to implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as required by May 2018.
However, he noted that the changes will coincide with negotiations for leaving the EU under the Article 50 process.
Hancock told the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee that the overriding priority would be “unhindered” data flows, without interruption “on the morning we leave the EU”. This would be achieved by implementing the GDPR, including new data rights and penalties for breaches, in full, he said.
Hancock’s enthusiasm for the measure was a marked contrast from the position of the UK Government when the GDPR was floated. Howeve,r he told the committee that he backed the law for two reasons.
“First, thanks to significant negotiation successes, we think it’s a good piece of legislation in itself. Secondly, we are keen to secure an unhindered flow of data with the EU post-Brexit.