UK data protection law takes effect

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 04 June, 2018

UK data protection law takes effect

UK citizens have been given more rights to access, move and delete the data held on them by companies under strict new data protection rules which have come into effect. The laws have implications for Australian organisations with UK-based patients, offices and business partners.

The Data Protection Act 2018 will allow people to demand that their personal data be moved between service providers such as WhatsApp and Facebook to rival social media platforms.

People will also be able to demand that an organisation disclose all the personal data it holds on them for free, have data held on them be erased when they turn 18 and more easily withdraw consent for the use of their personal data.

The law is introducing similar requirements as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, including the right to be told when their data is breached and there is serious potential for harm, which will ensure UK residents continue to have these rights as the UK makes its withdrawal from the EU.

Companies falling afoul of the UK’s new Act could be liable for millions of pounds in fines. The nation’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has, for example, been granted the power to issue fines of up to £17 million ($29.9 million) or 4% of a company’s global turnover for the most serious data breaches.

The ICO also now has the power to carry out no-notice inspections and demand access to an organisation’s premises without a warrant, and to request a court order to force an organisation to share information.

“[This] marks a milestone in the internet era, with new laws to put power back in people’s hands so they can be sure the information they share online is safe,” UK Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries Margot James said.

“The Information Commissioner has been given the tools she needs to make sure organisations are held to account when they misuse or compromise data, but she has been clear they will be applied proportionately and adequately to help businesses prepare.”

Image credit: ©

Originally published here.

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