Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden.
Jane Imrie

UK data sector set for overhaul with new government reforms

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is set for an overhaul in a bid to drive greater innovation and growth in the UK’s data sector.

The government’s Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden today announced a series of reforms aiming to broaden the remit of the ICO and empower the Information Commissioner to champion sectors and businesses.

As part of the reforms a new governance model is planned for the ICO, including an independent board and chief executive to mirror the governance structures of other regulators such as the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Ofcom.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden commented: “Data is one of the most important resources in the world and we want our laws to be based on common sense, not box-ticking.

“Now that we have left the EU, we have the freedom to create a new world-leading data regime that unleashes the power of data across the economy and society.

“These reforms will keep people’s data safe and secure, while ushering in a new golden age of growth and innovation right across the UK, as we build back better from the pandemic.”

Minister for the Cabinet Office Lord Frost added: “These reforms are another example of how, having gained new regulatory freedoms outside of the EU, we can now take bold action in the national interest and in the interest of British businesses and consumers.

“Our new data regime will cement our status as a science superpower by removing unnecessary burdens and boosting innovation and growth right across the UK.”

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