Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

New data laws aim to reduce website cookie banners and punish nuisance calls

The Government says the aim of the Bill is to revamp the UK’s data laws for the digital age and take advantage of the UK having left the European Union (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
The Government says the aim of the Bill is to revamp the UK’s data laws for the digital age and take advantage of the UK having left the European Union (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Reducing the number of pop-up cookie banners on websites and tougher fines for firms making nuisance calls are at the centre of new data law proposals published by the Government.

As part of plans for the Data Reform Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech, ministers have proposed replacing pop-up cookie alerts on websites with an opt-out system where users set cover-all data permissions in their web browser settings, removing the need to consent to cookies on each site they visit.

Under the proposals in the new Bill, fines for nuisance calls and texts will rise from the current maximum of £500,000 to either four per cent of global turnover or £17.5 million, whichever is greater.

As part of Government plans to cut back on data protection “red tape”, the Bill will remove requirements for smaller businesses to have a data protection officer or undertake impact assessments where the data risk is low.

The Government said the aim of the Bill was to revamp the UK’s data laws for the digital age and take advantage of the UK having left the European Union by streamlining the aspects of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which was introduced in the EU and the UK four years ago.

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

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

“Our new Data Reform Bill will make it easier for businesses and researchers to unlock the power of data to grow the economy and improve society, but retains our global gold standard for data protection.”

“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 Bill also proposes a restructuring of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), including giving new powers to the Culture Secretary to approve ICO statutory codes and guidance.

Information Commissioner John Edwards said he supports the “ambition of these reforms”.

“I am pleased to see the Government has taken our concerns about independence on board,” he said.

“Data protection law needs to give people confidence to share their information to use the products and services that power our economy and society.

“The proposed changes will ensure my office can continue to operate as a trusted, fair and impartial regulator, and enable us to be more flexible and target our action in response to the greatest harms.”

Furthermore, the Government said the Bill will simplify the legal requirements around research by more clearly defining the scope of scientific research so that scientists can more easily use data as part of their work.

The Government said the proposals will make it easier for researchers to have clarity about when they can obtain user consent to collect or use data for research purposes.