Media sources have reported that the UK Department for Culture, Media & Sport has confirmed its plans to present its Data Protection Bill to Parliament when MPs return to Parliament in early September. The Bill follows commitments made in the Queen’s Speech in June, and will effectively copy the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) into the UK statute book. The Bill’s primary aim is to ensure that the UK retains the same data protection laws as the rest of the EU once it leaves the EU, which is likely to be in March 2019.
No details of the proposed Bill have been publicly disclosed to date, so it remains to be seen whether the Bill will add substance to the areas that the GDPR allows to be decided by national law, and whether it will include further clarity on how sanctions will be applied by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office. This would follow Germany’s lead, after the German Federal Parliament in April of this year passed a new German Data Protection Act that adapted current data protection laws to cover derogations from the GDPR’s provisions.