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UK: King's Speech for 2023 announces Data Protection and Digital Information Bill

On November 7, 2023, the UK Government published a policy paper titled 'The King's Speech 2023: background briefing notes' which highlights that the Ministers will introduce the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (the Bill) to encourage innovation in technologies such as machine learning. In particular, the briefing notes that the Bill will reduce burdens on businesses, remove unnecessary barriers placed on scientific researchers, boost the economy by £4.7 billion over 10 years, and enable innovations that advance the strength and prosperity of society by:

  • allowing businesses to protect personal data in more proportionate and practical ways than under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  • clarifying and improving rules around using personal data for scientific research;
  • establishing a framework for secure digital verification services;
  • enabling "Smart Data" schemes across the economy; and
  • ensuring the better use of data in the delivery of health and adult social care, law enforcement, security, and other government services.

Moreover, together with clarifying that the majority of the measures in the Bill will extend and apply to the UK, the briefing highlights that the Bill will better protect people by:

  • strengthening and modernizing the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), by ensuring it has the capabilities and powers to tackle organizations that breach data rules, empowering it to better allocate its resources, and ensuring it is more accountable to Parliament and the public; and
  • maintaining high international data protection standards so that businesses can trade freely with global partners like the EU, while ensuring it is easier to strike new data bridges with trusted international partners such as the U.S., boosting trade and market access for UK businesses.

You can read the briefing notes here.

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