Digital Economy Bill unveiled in Queen's Speech | Digital Economy Bill unveiled in Queen's Speech | DMA

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Digital Economy Bill unveiled in Queen's Speech


The government unveiled its digital economy bill today as part of its legislative programme for the coming year, which included the Digital Economy Bill, designed to promote industry from the digital economy and new powers for the Information Commissioner

Designed in two parts, the first part will promote the roll-out of high-speed broadband, but the second part of of interest to marketers, with new measures to encourage the digital economy, some measures to ensure consumers are protected and marketers have the correct opt-ins, and more powers for the Information Commissioner.

The Queen said, "Legislation will be introduced to … make the United Kingdom a world leader in the digital economy," echoed in the government's notes, which state, "The purpose of the Bill is to: "Make the UK a world leader in digital provision – a place where technology ceaselessly transforms the economy, society and government."

The Bill will includes measures to:

  • Enable the building of world-class digital infrastructure including fast broadband and mobile networks
  • Support new digital industries
  • Reform the way government uses data to deliver public services
  • Strengthen protections for citizens in the digital world

The detail will not be known until the draft Bill is drafted, later this year, but will include:

  • Protection for consumers from spam email and nuisance calls by ensuring consent is obtained for direct marketing, and that the Information Commissioner is empowered to impose fines on those who break the rules.
  • Support for digital industries by addressing difference in online/offline copyright laws
  • Enable registered design owners to give notice of their rights more cheaply and flexibly.
  • Use of data by Government to deliver better public services and produce world-leading research and statistics.
  • Consult on better sharing of publically-held data sets to improve service delivery whilst maintaining safeguards on privacy. 

Head of preference services John Mitchison said, "One view could be that the Information Commissioner's guidance could be put onto a statutory footing, as Christopher Graham indicated at our Data Protection conference in February."

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