Government’s 5 GDPR Priorities Revealed in Queen’s Speech

By Sam Thomas | 27th June 2017 | 14 min read

The Government used last week's Queen's Speech to reveal its key priorities for the GDPR and confirmed the legislation will be unaffected by Brexit.

A Background to the General Data Protection Regulation

In May 2018, The UK’s data protection laws will change. Since 1998, the UK has followed the Data Protection Act, however from 2018, the European Union is implementing the General Data Protection Regulation, a new piece of legislation designed to streamline data handling across the EU’s 28 member states.

From 2019, once the UK leaves the European Union, the UK has confirmed that all EU legislation – including the GDPR – will be included in the ‘Great Repeal Bill – where the UK adopts all EU legislation and over time will decide whether to keep, scrap, or amend the laws for UK usage. Since the GDPR is beginning in 2018, the Government has now specifically confirmed that it will apply in the UK and UK businesses must ensure they’re up-to-speed before its implementation.

So, what happens after 2019? It’s important to know that the UK was a key driving force behind the legislation in the first place, so it’s expected that the GDPR will simply be adopted by the UK as we aim to keep our, as the Government puts it, ‘World Class’ data protection regime and help the UK “maintain its ability to share data with other EU members states and internationally after we leave the EU".

Even still, in the unlikely event the GDPR is scrapped, businesses supplying protections or services to EU countries would still need to follow the legislation.

The UK’s Key Priorities for the GDPR

During the Queen’s Speech and the Opening of Parliament 2017, the Government revealed its key priorities for the GDPR:

  1. ensuring data protection rules were "suitable for the digital age"
  2. "empowering individuals to have more control over their personal data"
  3. giving people the "right to be forgotten" when they no longer wanted a company to process their data - providing there were no legitimate grounds for a company retaining the data
  4. modernising data processing procedures for law enforcement agencies
  5. allowing police and the authorities to "continue to exchange information quickly and easily with international partners" to fight terrorism and other serious crimes

What’s Next for Your Business?

Whether this is the first you’ve heard of the GDPR or you’ve already started planning, it’s important to know where you stand and how well-placed your business is before May 2018.

To help with this, the legislation experts at IRIS are offering complimentary GDPR Health Checks to all businesses and GP practices looking to gain an understanding of how they will be affected, and what they can do to prepare.

The GDPR Health Checks are carried out over the phone at a time that suits you, book your free Health Check using the button below, simply enter your details and preferred call back time and we’ll be in touch to start your GDPR journey.

Book My GDPR Health Check