Little Brother takes on Big Brother


UK consumers will now be able to ask the likes of Facebook and Twitter to delete embarrassing posts under proposed new data laws. The new legislation will preserve the European Union’s General Data Protection Rule (GDPR), and will give people living in the UK more control over what happens with their personal data online, including the ability to ‘be forgotten’.

Digital Minister Matt Hancock announced the change to the UK’s data protection laws in a statement of intent and confirmed that the new law would look to support both UK businesses and consumers alike. In his statement, Hancock said, “Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected, whilst those who misuse it will be held to account.”

Hancock also mentioned during his speech that the new legislation would prepare the country’s data protection laws for Brexit, adding “The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world. The Bill will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit.”

Proposals within the bill would include:

  • Making it simpler to withdraw consent for the use of personal data
  • Letting parents and guardians give consent for their child’s data to be shared
  • Allowing consumers to request the deletion of their data
  • Expanding the definition of ‘personal data’ to include things like IP addresses and internet cookies

The new law would also create new criminal offences for organizations that ‘either intentionally or recklessly’ allow users to be identified from encrypted data. It is also expected that the fines for those who do not comply with the new legislation will increase, with the current maximum fine that companies can incur for breaching data protection rules set at £500,000.


For more information relating to data protection laws and how Pinney Talfourd can help, please contact our Corporate Department – call on 01708 229444 or email us using the form to the right. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of August 2017.


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