UK SMEs support pending reforms to UK data privacy laws
24 Oct 2023
Whilst GDPR laid the foundations for enhanced global data protection standards — with its robust consumer protections — it also introduced some challenges to businesses across the UK.
Over the past few years, the DMA has worked closely with our community to identify these challenges, advocating for data privacy reforms that will drive data-driven innovation in an extremely challenging economic climate.
As a result of the DMA’s consultations with Members across the UK, we learned that reforms would need to reduce burdensome red tape, make it easier to build relationships with both new and existing customers, and provide greater legislative clarity, particularly surrounding legitimate interests (one of GDPR’s six equal lawful bases for data processing).
The DMA has since been at the forefront of reforming UK data privacy laws in the form of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (DPDI). The government recognised our community’s role in forming sensible, pro-growth reforms, and appointed our CEO, Chris Combemale, to Chair the DPDI Business Advisory Group for the Secretary of State.
Our latest report demonstrates how essential these reforms are for business. The "Data Horizons: How UK SMEs and Consumers View the Future of Privacy Regulation" asked both SME owners and the UK public about their views on the future of data protection. It revealed that DPDI’s reforms are completely in alignment with what businesses are seeking.
Our research revealed that two thirds of SMEs (66%) are supportive of the UK Government introducing updated and modernised data privacy regulation to address inherent challenges of GDPR.
The types of reforms demanded by SMEs are those which will help them tackle the extremely challenging economic climate and deliver sustainable growth.
The DPDI Bill seeks to address this by creating a better balance between innovation and privacy, maintaining GDPR’s high levels of data protection while enabling scientific and technological innovation that will power the future economy.
“Most SMEs seek reforms to UK data privacy legislation that makes it easier to attract new customers and retain existing ones”, said Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA. “This is key to unlocking business growth and realising the full potential of the UK digital economy; by using customer insights to simultaneously improve the productivity of businesses and create relevance for customers through personalised services.”
DPDI is just the beginning of an era of new opportunity for charities, businesses — particularly SMEs — and their customers.
There is strong support for these opportunities across the UK’s business community, so the DMA is urging UK Parliament to complete passage without hesitation.