The Data and Marketing Association (DMA) has announced its support of the UK Government’s plans for new legislation to replace the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

GDPR, which was inherited from the UK’s membership of the European Union, has previously come under fire for being complicated, confusing, non-business-friendly, financially costly, stiflingly bureaucratic, and responsible for excessive scaremongering.

At the Conservative Party Conference earlier this month, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Michelle Donelan, outlined the Government’s clear objective to replace GDPR with a new business and consumer-friendly, British data protection system as a ‘newly independent nation free of EU bureaucracy’.

The MP said that the plan was to get on with the job of creating wealth through UK tech, digital, cyber, creative, cultural and arts sectors. But, she added, there remained a significant amount of red tape in the way which, post-Brexit, could now be tailored to fit the country’s needs. One example of this was regarding the treatment of data.

She said: “Our plan will protect consumer privacy and keep their data safe, whilst retaining our data adequacy so businesses can trade freely. And I can promise you here today, Conference, that it will be simpler and clearer for businesses to navigate.”

“Our new data protection plan will focus on growth and common sense, helping to prevent losses from cyberattacks and data breaches, while protecting data privacy. This will allow us to 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.”

A boost for British businesses

The DMA has welcomed the intention to boost innovation, cut red-tape and increase growth, having previously supported work on the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (DPDI) as a strong starting point.

The planned change will allow cookies to be used for analytics purposes without consent, reduce consent banners and give greater customer insight to businesses. Third sector organisations will also be able to use a soft opt-in for emails to boost charity engagement and fundraising.

In a message to members, Christopher Combemale, Group CEO of the DMA, outlined additional amendments that would further improve the proposed DPDI text in the following areas, which would be critical to the data and marketing industry. These were:

  1. Cookies – Support of wording to include audience measurement
  2. Automated consent – Use of in-built automated consent mechanisms to be limited
  3. Legitimate interests – The processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes to be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest
  4. Data adequacy – special consideration given to maintaining EU adequacy to protect international trade and cross-border data flows
  5. Regulatory coherence – to ensure the considerations of the new GDPR and its relationship with other relevant pieces of legislation are taken into account as the Bill goes through the Parliamentary process

The DMA is engaging with the government to obtain further information and has promised to provide updates as they happen. At Marketscan, we also welcome the new proposals and look forward to the boost to UK businesses that this cutting of unnecessarily high levels of red tape will doubtless bring.


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