The UK Data Protection and Digital Information Bill was reintroduced in Parliament today as the UK government looks to implement a new, UK version of the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Data Protection and Digital Information Bill was first introduced last Summer but paused in September 2022 so ministers could engage in a co-design process with business leaders and data experts. This was to ensure that the new regime is built on the UK\u2019s high standards for data protection and privacy, protecting data adequacy while moving away from the \u2018one-size-fits-all\u2019 approach of the EU\u2019s GDPR.The bill, introduced by Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan, aims to reduce the amount of paperwork organisations need to complete to demonstrate compliance, increase public and business confidence in AI technologies, and allows businesses to use their existing international data transfer mechanisms to share personal data overseas if they are compliant with current UK data laws. It also introduces changes such as increased fines for nuisance calls\/texts and establishes a framework for the use of trusted and secure digital verification services.Bill seeks to take advantage of post-Brexit data sharing, protectionAs it has been co-designed with businesses, the bill ensures that a vitally important data protection regime is tailored to the UK\u2019s own needs and customs, according to Donelan. \u201cOur system will be easier to understand, easier to comply with, and take advantage of the many opportunities of post-Brexit Britain. No longer will our businesses and citizens have to tangle themselves around the barrier-based European GDPR. Our new laws release British businesses from unnecessary red tape to unlock new discoveries, drive forward next generation technologies, create jobs and boost our economy.\u201dThe government claims the improved bill will:Introduce a simple, clear, and business-friendly framework that will not be difficult or costly to implement. It takes the best elements of GDPR and provides businesses with more flexibility about how they comply with the new data laws.Ensure the new regime maintains data adequacy with the EU and wider international confidence in the UK\u2019s comprehensive data protection standards. This will ensure British businesses do not need to pay more costs or complete new checks to show they\u2019re compliant with updated rules.Further reduce the amount of paperwork organisations need to complete to demonstrate compliance. Only organisations whose processing activities are likely to pose high risks to individual\u2019s rights and freedoms will need to keep processing records.Support even more international trade without creating extra costs for businesses if they\u2019re already compliant with current data regulation.Provide organisations with greater confidence about when they can process personal data without consent.Increase public and business confidence in AI technologies by clarifying the circumstances when robust safeguards apply to automated decision-making. People will be made aware when such decisions are made and can challenge and seek human review when those decisions may be inaccurate or harmful.Bill increases fines for nuisance calls\/texts, reduces consent pop-upsThe bill will also increase fines for nuisance calls and texts, and aims to reduce the number of consent pop-ups people see online, read a Department for Science, Innovation and Technology press release. Furthermore, it will establish a framework for the use of trusted and secure digital verification services, allowing people to prove their identity digitally if they choose to do so.The Information Commissioner\u2019s Office (ICO) will be strengthened, too, with the creation of a statutory board with a chair and chief executive to help it remain an independent data regulator and better support organisations to comply with data regulation. The data reforms are expected to unlock \u00a34.7 billion in savings for the UK economy over the next 10 years and maintain the UK\u2019s internationally renowned data protection standards so businesses can continue to trade freely with global partners, including the EU, according to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.\u201cI welcome the reintroduction of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill and support its ambition to enable organisations to grow and innovate whilst maintaining high standards of data protection rights,\u201d said John Edwards, UK information commissioner. \u201cData protection law needs to give people confidence to share their information to use the products and services that power our economy and society. The bill will ensure my office can continue to operate as a trusted, fair, and independent regulator. We look forward to continuing to work constructively with the government to monitor how these reforms are expressed in the bill as it continues its journey through Parliament.\u201dDivergence from EU GDPR increases compliance complexity, costsThe UK government fails to realise that by diverging from the EU GDPR, they are adding complexity for those companies that will now need to comply with two different sets of legislation, argues Tash Whitaker, global data compliance director at Whitaker Solutions Ltd. \u201cThis will not reduce costs for any business that trades outside the UK. Rather, it will increase them,\u201d she tells CSO.The government have been very uncertain about the progress of this on-off bill, and it\u2019s ironic when the whole idea is to create certainty for businesses \u2013 the way they have managed this has had the opposite effect, adds Jonathan Armstrong, data and technology compliance lawyer, partner at Cordery Compliance. \u201cThey still haven\u2019t demonstrated any real benefits in tinkering with GDPR. There is no credible evidence to support the claimed costs savings. Changing definitions doesn\u2019t make compliance easier. In fact by introducing different rules from the rest of the EU, it increases the costs.\u201dMany businesses are already struggling with a Brexit burden \u2013 the added costs of doing business since the UK left the EU. \u201cFor most businesses, this just adds to the Brexit burden for no tangible benefit,\u201d Armstrong says.