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No thanks, EU! Hated rules SCRAPPED as UK to end ‘pointless’ web cookies in Brexit bonfire

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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is expected to outline how Britons’ data can be used more flexibly. Mr Dowden said the Government will scrap key parts of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in 2018.

GDPR is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area.

It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas.

The Culture Secretary said the new reforms will also cut down on cookie banners, which are used to secure users’ consent for storing their data.

He described the reforms as a “data dividend” of Britain’s departure from the EU and said the new British framework would be “more proportionate”.

Mr Dowden added it would help cut costs for businesses and enable a “greater innovation” which would “drive growth and opportunities and jobs”.

He went on to say how the reforms would bring an end to “pointless bureaucracy” and “box-ticking” but would still protect people’s privacy.

The GDPR rules – which govern how people’s personal information is collected – have been criticised for being too bureaucratic and overly prescriptive.

Under the current rules, sites have to give users a choice over whether to say “yes” or “no” to cookies, which process and share their personal data.

Despite Britain’s shake-up of the rules, the EU continues to defend GDPR as having improved data privacy standards across the world.

Mr Dowden’s plans to reform the rules is likely to be scrutinised by privacy campaigners.

They fear there will be further online profiling of individuals as well as greater massing of personal data by large companies.

According to the Telegraph, the Government is set to appoint John Edwards, currently New Zealand’s privacy commissioner, to head up Britain’s data watchdog.

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Mr Edwards has previously been depicted as being “anti-Facebook” following comments he made about the social media giant.

Following the 2019 Christchurch mosque massacres, Mr Edwards scalded Facebook for its lack of comment on the matter after it went viral on the social media platform.

He said: “Your silence is an insult to our grief.”

A month later, he took to Twitter to accuse Facebook of being “morally bankrupt pathological liars who enable genocide (Myanmar), facilitate foreign undermining of democratic institutions #DontGiveaZuck”.

He later deleted the tweet after it attracted “toxic” comments.

Mr Edwards – who is Mr Dowden’s preferred choice for the role – will appear before MPs on the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee for pre-appointment scrutiny on September 9.

Under the Data Protection Act, the Information Commissioner is appointed by Her Majesty by Letters Patent on the basis of fair and open competition and on the recommendation from ministers.

Ministers were assisted in their decision-making by an Advisory Assessment Panel which included a departmental official and a senior independent panel member approved by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

If Mr Edwards is appointed, it would chime with the UK Government’s rhetoric on cracking down on big tech firms, the Sunday Times said.

Boris Johnson’s Government has launched the Online Safety Bill to hold social media companies to account for harmful content.

The Government created the Digital Markets Unit to tackle anti-competitive behaviour by tech giants.

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