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New laws to strengthen your ‘right to be forgotten’

Social media sites will be forced to remove posts you made during childhood if you request it

A ‘robust’ and ‘dynamic’ new data protection law will expand your ‘right to be forgotten’ online and have your details erased by companies, the Government has announced.

Digital Minister Matt Hancock has vowed that the new Data Protection Bill will give you greater power over your personal data, including the right to demand that social media sites delete information you posted as a child.

The new law could also see data breaches become far more costly for businesses, as the maximum fine data watchdog The Information Commissioner (ICO) can issue will soar from £500,000 to either £17m or 4% of global turnover.

It’s anticipated the new law will also:

  • Make it simpler to withdraw consent for the use of personal data.
  • Allow you to ask for your personal data held by companies to be erased.
  • Enable parents and guardians to give consent for their child’s data to be used.
  • Require ‘explicit’ consent to be necessary for processing sensitive personal data.
  • Expand the definition of ‘personal data’ to include IP addresses, internet cookies and even your DNA.
  • Make it easier and free for you to require an organisation to disclose the personal data it holds on them. its currently costs up to £10 to make a ‘subject access request’.
  • Make it easier for customers to move data between different service providers.

Data debate begins in September

The legislation will help the UK prepare for Brexit because it brings domestic law in line with upcoming EU data regulations. Parliament will begin to debate the measures in September when MPs return from their summer recess.

The minister said updating the law would ‘support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account.’

Responding to the news, Which? managing director of home products and services Alex Neill said: ‘This bill will hopefully provide some much needed guidance on how consumers’ data will be protected and used in the right way post-Brexit.

‘All too often consumers suffer the consequences when company failures lead to their data being compromised, so the Government must ensure they can easily get redress when data is lost.’

Whether you want to stop junk mail and nuisance calls or you’re keen to protect yourself from identity theft, brush up on your rights with our Data Protection guides.

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