GDPR is on the way out

The UK is set to bin GDPR legislation in favour of UK-specific legislation. How will your business be impacted?

If you’re a marketer, you’ll definitely recall the Spring of 2018. Unfortunately, it had nothing to do with the smell of fresh grass wafting splendidly in the breeze, or new flowers bursting into season. It was instead, a period marked with frantic efforts to try and pre-empt the upcoming GDPR changes that were about to shake up data regulations like never before.

And for months, companies swirled around in a mild panic of updating data practices, trying to get GDPR compliant before a looming D-Day.

But as the seasons rolled on, the game-changing legislation clicked in and businesses operated smoothly with the new changes. It seemed like we’d adjusted well, and found our feet with a new normal. So you might have been forgiven for thinking that we wouldn’t have to face such a big shift again; at least for a little while.

Brexit Changes the Data Direction

But with Brexit and the turbulent years that have followed, the UK is considering departure from the EU Directive on GDPR, and putting forward its own measures to bring the direction of data control back to our soil. And with it, a potential change in priorities. 

The latest on how the new legislation was shaping up comes from the former Prime Minister Liz Truss’ Culture Secretary, who said…

“The UK will be replacing GDPR with our own business and consumer-friendly British data protection system.” and that “we can be the bridge across the Atlantic and operate as the world’s data hub.”

Michelle Donelan - Former Culture Secretary

And that does make sense, given that the UK data market was valued at a hefty £319bn in 2021 (Statista), and the UK leads Europe on that front. It seems like the current government is looking to steer into success and reduce restrictions on data, in order to stimulate future growth.

The Central Issue

But the central issue of stimulating growth in data markets does gloss over the fact that GDPR was brought in to protect consumers. The lack of autonomy and accountability prior meant that citizens across Europe were having their data hijacked for commercial gain, for which they saw little, if any benefit. 

And that’s the concern that faces the new UK-specific legislation. Whilst the government have said that it will be ‘consumer-friendly’, many question whether cutting the red-tape in any way will benefit the average person. 

Cutting Red Tape May Mean Doubling Your Cost

And for many businesses, just operating in the UK alone isn’t an option. If you’re trading in Europe, you will still have to comply with GDPR legislation. So whilst you may wonder whether there are benefits to be found in adopting the new legislation, you might want to consider that it will involve a duplication of processes and cost. 

It may be that the UK will adopt an ‘adequate’ meaning the new legislation won’t exclude itself from being viable under GDPR, but this remains to be seen. And crucially, at the forefront of this discussion is building long-term relationships with your customers.

The Long-Term View

FanFinders operated privacy-first principles from day one. As a result, when GDPR rolled in, we found ourselves ahead of the game already. 

It may be that new legislation provides small incremental benefits, but it may be costly to actually implement, and could alienate your customers in the long run. Whilst it’s unclear how the legislation will shape up in codified form, the argument that it will benefit businesses isn’t as obvious as you might think. 

And so the question is, as the UK shapes a new direction for data practices, will splitting your processes into two separate ones be worth the inevitable hassle and investment that it will surely require?

 

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