Report Overview

GDPR after Brexit – UK citizens must keep protections

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State (SoS) for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport addressed the Media & Telecoms 2020 & Beyond Conference on 5 March. There was much to be encouraged by in his speech—he reiterated the importance of public service broadcasting, and the positive potential of technology. But he also identified “open and effective use of data” as an opportunity of leaving the EU, pledging to remove “unnecessary barriers whenever they arrive.” This comes in the context of the Prime Minister promising to “restore sovereignty” over data protection, claiming, “The UK will in future develop separate and independent policies in areas such as… data protection, maintaining high standards as we do so.” We argue there are no benefits to the UK in forging an independent path in the realm of data protection.


There have been hints that the UK may diverge from EU data protection law

GDPR protects against real consumer harms, while businesses rely on data transfers

Consensus, not laissez-faire, is what global businesses want