The monthly law journal which covers all aspects of data protection and data privacy: data transfer & outsourcing, marketing and e-marketing, freedom of information (FOI), employee monitoring, privacy compliance, online data acquisition and consent, personal data, website compliance and emerging technologies such as behavioural advertising, cloud computing and smart grids. / read more
The people of the UK have spoken and our collective choice is to leave the European Union. Some are dreading the likely tsunami of economic hardship. Others are excited about what may lie ahead. Most of us are shocked. But as numbing as the verdict of the UK electorate may be, there are crucial political, legal and economic decisions to be made. The ‘To Do’ list of the UK Government will be overwhelming, not least because of the dramatic implications that each of the items on the list will have for the future of the country and indeed the world. Steering the economy will be a number one priority and with that, the direction of travel of the digital economy, which, at the end of the day, is one of the pillars of prosperity in the UK and everywhere else.
Regulating the digital economy to maximise its potential, safeguard consumers, and turn it into a much needed catalyst for growth, will require careful thinking beyond the obvious. It would not be inconceivable for a Brexit government to try and make its mark by rejecting anything that is seen as Brussels-born red tape and business-constraining. A temptation may be to apply this thinking to anything to do with data protection law - an area which has mistakenly been seen as an impediment in the past. But in doing so, there is a real risk that a regulation-free oriented government may throw the data protection baby out with the bathwater.
Data protection may be obscure, difficult to understand and comply with, and a tad nerdy. Data protection may not be recognised as a direct contributor to growth. Instead, some may regard it as the brainchild of out of touch bureaucrats and softies. But yet, data protection law is a vital element of the regulatory framework of any progressive jurisdiction that wishes to support its businesses, protect its citizens and maximise the value of personal information. Many countries from around the world with different societal values and legal cultures are actively adopting data protection laws and anyone who has seen the evolution of this area of law will have witnessed a growing convergence of approaches.