Insights Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announces Government intention to replace UK GDPR


At the recent Conservative Party Conference, Michelle Donelan, the new DCMS Secretary of State, announced the Government’s intention to replace the UK GDPR with “our own business and consumer-friendly, British data protection system” to “creat[e] more wealth and prosperity through our tech, digital, cyber, creative, cultural and arts sectors” and get rid of the “significant amount of red tape in our way”.

Ms Donelan said that the “bureaucratic nature” of the GDPR is “limiting the potential of our businesses”. She cited Oxford University research, which estimated that the GDPR has “directly caused businesses to lose over 8% of their profits”, and a DCMS survey, in which 50% of businesses said that the EU’s mainly one-size-fits-all GDPR scheme “had led to excessive caution amongst staff in the handling of data”.

Ms Donelan said that the Government’s plan will “protect consumer privacy and keep their data safe, whilst retaining our data adequacy so businesses can trade freely”. She also said that it will be “simpler and clearer for businesses to navigate”. The intention is to “co-design with business a new system”, inspired by the data protection regimes in Israel, Japan, South Korea, Canada and New Zealand.

Ms Donelan said that the new data protection plan will “focus on growth and common sense, helping to prevent losses from cyber-attacks and data breaches, while protecting data privacy”. The new system will “reduce the needless regulations and business-stifling elements, while taking the best bits from others around the world to form a truly bespoke, British system of data protection”. Further, Ms Donelan said, “Businesses won’t have to wrap their heads around complicated legislation – this is about simplification”.

Ms Donelan concluded that the new system will be one that “protects the consumer, protects data adequacy and increases the trade that good data protection enables, whilst increasing productivity and also avoids the pitfalls of a one-size-fits-all system”. To read Ms Donelan’s speech in full, click here.