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UK Data Subject Access Requests Aborted




Partygate and many other issues make it easy to forget that Boris Johnson has been on the water for a long time, politically speaking. Not long ago, he promised to complete Brexit with an overwhelming victory in the general election.

Take the ax to uphold EU law.

While the pandemic, the Ukraine war and the cost of living crisis complicate assessments of how good or bad Brexit will ultimately be for the UK, the government may make it easier for the UK to complete Brexit. As the next general election draws near, it is likely that the Brexit card will be remarkably replayed to bolster key government support. This includes data protection.

TOPSHOT – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Conservative Party Leader speaking… [+] On December 11, 2019, the last day of the general election campaign, a general election rally was held in East London. – The UK will be going to the polls tomorrow to vote in the pre-Christmas general election. (Photo by Ben STANSALL/AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Getty Images Brexit and AFP Through Data Protection Reform

When it comes to data protection laws, governments are keen to get the job done quickly. The GDPR has always been on the eye, and the government’s ambitions have become much clearer after the latest position report was released earlier this month.

To recap for those who didn’t follow the story, in September 2021 the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) published an advisory report titled Data: A New Direction, Outlining the Government’s Goals for Reform in the UK. Data Protection Law. The law has direct impact on the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and between 2016 and 2018 it reached GDPR worldwide, including the UK, and awareness levels skyrocketed. Arguably, the GDPR has been the most popular law in the world for a while.

And now, six years after the referendum, Britain’s statute books remain an unwelcome memory of a nation that once lost its sovereignty.

The trajectory of the June update becomes clear

The government’s argument for data reform is that it supports a post-Brexit global UK vision that frees the economy to be ambitious, growth-promoting and innovative (according to the authors of the consultation document). On 23 June, the first major update to the reforms was released, which included the government’s response to the responses received at the consultation.

There are many here, from proposals that seem to change for the sake of change, to proposals that take the UK down a completely different path from its former EU partners. More impactful changes include changes to the future of Data Subject Access Requests (DSARs, SARs for short) and the functioning of the Information Commission (regulatory bodies).

DSAR regime – provides data protection

The DSAR framework gives people rights to a variety of information about data held and processed by businesses, governments, public institutions, and many other organizations such as hospitals, schools and churches. The DSAR framework is one of the basic building blocks of data protection laws. An important transparency mechanism that exists to remind everyone that the ability to use someone else’s data is based in large part on licenses and not on irrevocable rights. It is intended to provide checks and balances against the seizure of power, illegal activity, and ultimately harm to individuals. A data protection system without a strong DSAR regime is a toothless tiger worthy of its name.

Isolation for annoying and excessive DSAR

In the September 2021 proposal, the government followed the idea of ​​introducing a rate and cost-based limit on DSAR, but received little support and has now been abandoned. However, another suggestion remains that an annoying or excessive DSAR can be rejected. This aligns the DSAR framework with the separate access regimes contained in the Freedom of Information Act (applying to information held by the public sector).

Putting this in context, it helps gauge how far the introduction of annoying or excessive carve outs will take the UK out of its EU position. ) does not include this split. So, if passed, the UK will support a more than 25-year data protection process.

Possibility of real impact

But how real change is introducing cumbersome or over-segmenting? This can be measured by consulting papers and examples provided by the latest updates. The types of situations that may apply include:

Where use of your personal data does not appear to be the sole or primary reason for making an access request. Where an access request may be used to circumvent the rules regarding the disclosure and examination of documents applicable to civil proceedings. Access requests made by an employee who is leaving on bad terms to disrupt his or her former employer. If there is an access request from the claim management company

This situation is just an example, but it boils down to one problem. People who cause problems, if you want to see them that way. This situation is the most controversial situation in which DSARs are written and represents the majority of access requests that most organizations receive.

Erectile Dysfunction due to DSAR Neutralization?

Thus, annoying or over-segmenting has the potential to neutralize the DSAR regime, eroding it into a state of near complete impotence.

Part of the reason is that once carve-out is introduced, organizations receiving DSAR will want to take full advantage of it. Of course they will push the boundaries as much as they can, and that will almost certainly result in regular splitting over time in situations that are neither annoying nor excessive. This is the case when a controversial situation arises and there is a legal action to take advantage of it.

Seeking checks and balances

Before meeting with AFP reporters, Austrian lawyer and privacy activist Max Schrems… [+] The introduction of new GDPR regulations in the EU on 24 May 2018 in Vienna, Austria. – Schrems’ new NGO “None of Your Business” (NYOB) is helping launch several examples of tech companies using GDPR. The EU’s so-called General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on Friday 25 May 2018, and Brussels said these changes would protect consumers from becoming like “people living naked in an aquarium”. (Photo courtesy of JOE KLAMAR/AFP) (Photo credit: You should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Of course, we can ignore these fears, and say that there will be checks and balances against the abuse of division to make it exaggerated and unfair.

What are these checks and balances? The UK has a genuine approach to judicial matters. Litigation is expensive, complex, time consuming, and in most cases is not an option for resolving disputes. That would put most individuals wholly dependent on the UK regulatory body, the Information Commissioner, to the rescue. But how likely are they?

Only time will tell, but it is noteworthy that the Information Commissioner supports the government proposal. It is also noteworthy that enforcement measures have been nearly exhausted in the UK since the GDPR came into force. This may not sound good.

At best, it appears that the future of DSAR in the UK is in balance.




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