NEWS29 May 2024

DMA calls for data protection reforms post-election

News Privacy Public Sector UK

UK – The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has launched a 10-point manifesto to reform data protection following the demise of the Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI) Bill in the run-up to the UK general election.

Data protection

The DPDI Bill was introduced in 2022 and aimed to rule on access to customer data and business data and update privacy laws.

However, following the prime minister’s decision to call a general election for 4th July, the DPDI could not complete its passage through parliament in time before parliament is dissolved, and was therefore cancelled.

An email to members from DMA chief executive Chris Combemale said that whichever party won the election would need to create a “pro-innovation and high standard data protection regime for the UK” and therefore called on the victors to pass the DPDI Bill.

Combemale set out a 10-point manifesto to update and reform data protection legislation, including maintaining high standards of data protection to build trust and confidence in the future of the economy and government services.

Other points included providing certainty to legitimate interests as a lawful basis for data processing, therefore making sure the right to conduct a business is balanced with the right to privacy, and to take a principles-based, ethical approach to artificial intelligence regulation.

Giving legal certainty to the recitals in GDPR to ensure the legislation is correctly interpreted by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the courts, lawyers and data protection officers was another reform suggestion from the DMA.

Among other proposals from the DMA was maintain data adequacy with the EU, promoting scientific research in academic and commercial settings, enhancing the role of the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, reforming the ICO, building data, AI and digital marketing skills, and putting the Department for Business and Trade in charge of lifelong learning, re-skilling and apprenticeships.

Combemale added: “The DPDI Bill was an important evolution of the UK’s data protection framework and held a wide range of opportunities for DMA members.

“Whichever political party wins the election, they should build on the general principles of DPDI which had received cross party support. The DMA will continue to fight for the essential reforms in data protection legislation and skills that are essential to our members, their customers, their teams and the economy.”