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UK: DCMS publishes national data strategy policy paper, highlights intention to uphold high data protection standards and pursue data adequacy

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport ('DCMS') published, on 9 September 2020, a policy paper on the UK's national data strategy ('the Strategy'). In particular, the Strategy outlines the government's priority missions to capitalise on opportunities data offers to recover from the COVID-19 ('Coronavirus') pandemic, including plans to introduce primary legislation to boost participation in Smart Data initiatives, which can give people the power to use their own data to find better tariffs in areas such as telecoms, energy, and pensions, and a new £2.6 million project to address current barriers to data sharing and support innovation to detect online harms. Specifically, the Strategy highlights that the UK's data regime will support vibrant competition and innovation, building trust and maintaining high data protection standards without creating unnecessary barriers to data use.

In addition, the Strategy notes that the UK will seek EU data adequacy to maintain the free flow of personal data from the EEA, and pursue UK data adequacy with global partners to promote the free flow of data to and from the UK and ensure that it will be properly protected. As part of upholding high data protection standards, the Strategy outlines that the UK will review the transitional arrangements for international data transfer, as well as review the use of alternative transfer mechanisms which ensure that transfers of personal data outside the UK are appropriately protected, among others.

You can read the press release here and the Strategy here.