27 January 2023

World Data Protection Day: key developments in the pipeline for 2023

Written by Laura Cunningham

Saturday, 28th January is world Data Protection Day. The date marks the anniversary of the Council of Europe’s Convention 108 on the protection of personal information, the first legally binding international law in the field of data protection.

The anniversary provides a good opportunity to look ahead at data protection developments on the horizon this year. Continuing the trend of recent years 2023 promises to be a year of rapid developments in data protection law in the UK.

UK Data Protection Bill

In the UK, we can expect to see movement on data protection legislative reform. The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (see our previous article on this subject Change is here: New UK Data Protection and Digital… | Carson McDowell (carson-mcdowell.com), which was paused at the Second Reading stage is likely to be resurrected by the government later this year. However, there is speculation that the new bill could be substantially different from previous drafts. The content of any amended bill will be closely scrutinised as any significant divergence from the GDPR regime could threaten the UK’s adequacy decision.

International Transfers

Almost three years on from Schrems II it is anticipated that the EU Commission and UK government will agree and adopt adequacy decisions with the USA to allow the free flow of EU and UK-based personal data to the US.

It is also expected that the UK will seek to progress adequacy decisions in respect of other jurisdictions. The UK Government has previously committed to championing the international flow of data as one of five priority areas of action in its National Data Strategy. Aside from the US, the Government has indicated that Australia, Columbia, Singapore, and the Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC") are priority jurisdictions for data partnership.

UK Online Safety Bill

The UK Online Safety Bill, which proposes to regulate service providers of user-to-user and internet search services with a view to eliminating illegal content and protecting children from harmful content, is currently making its way through Parliament. The Bill has significant overlap with the EU Digital Services Act. Despite the fact that the legislation has been criticised in some quarters as curtailing freedom of expression and has been delayed several times, it now appears on course to be passed in the first half of 2023.

If you would like any further information or advice, please contact Laura Cunningham from the Commercial team.

*This information is for guidance purposes only and does not constitute, nor should be regarded, as a substitute for taking legal advice that is tailored to your circumstances.

About the author

Laura Cunningham

Senior Associate

Laura Cunningham is a Senior Associate in the Commercial team at Carson McDowell. She is qualified to practice in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and England and Wales. Laura specialises in all aspects of information law including: privacy, confidentiality, data protection, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and freedom of information (FOIA).

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