New data laws will reduce online cookie alerts

Cookie alerts may soon be a thing of the past, as reducing the number of pop-up alerts appearing online is at the centre of new data law proposals which have been published by the government.

As part of the plans for the Data Reform Bill, ministers have proposed replacing the pop-up cookie alerts with an opt-out system. This would see users set data permissions in their web browser settings, removing the need to consent to cookies on each site they visit.

The Bill will also remove the need for smaller businesses to have a data protection officer or undertake impact assessments, as part of the government plans to cut back on ‘red tape’.

The revamp of the UK’s data laws also take advantage of the post-Brexit digital landscape by streamlining aspects of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), introduced in the EU and the UK four years ago.

READ MORE: Over 80% of consumers worry about
how their personal data is being used online 

The Bill also proposes restructuring the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), including giving new powers to the culture secretary to approve ICO statutory codes and guidance.

Culture secretary Nadine Dorries said the new laws would make it easier for businesses to “unlock the power of data to grow the economy and improve society” while retaining the UK’s “global gold standard for data protection”.

“Today is an important step in cementing post-Brexit Britain’s position as a science and tech superpower,” she said.

“Outside of the EU we can ensure people can control their personal data, while preventing businesses, researchers and civil society from being held back by a lack of clarity and cumbersome EU legislation.”

The proposals have been published as part of an official response to a consultation on reforming data laws in the UK.

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