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Government plans to split from GDPR to be freed from “pointless” cookie permission requests

The UK will scrap “pointless” web cookie requests as part of a major package of reforms that will replace the EU’s data laws with a new post-Brexit regime.

Oliver Dowden today revealed the ideas designed to harness the power of data to drive growth and create jobs.

The move will see large parts of GDPR scrapped in a bid to apparently cut down on red tape and deliver a so-called ‘Brexit dividend’.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Dowden said he planned to get rid of “pointless bureaucracy” such as cookie requests while also upholding privacy.

“There’s an opportunity for us to set world-leading, gold-standard data regulation which protects privacy, but does so in as light touch a way as possible,” he said.

A consultation into the future of the UK’s data regime will be launched in the coming weeks.

As part of the reforms, the government also named John Edwards as its preferred candidate to lead the UK data watchdog with a new remit to go beyond the traditional role of protecting data rights with a mandate to promote further innovation and economic growth. Edwards is currently the New Zealand privacy commissioner and will replace Elizabeth Denham.

In a further effort to boost Britain’s global standing after Brexit, the UK will now look to sign multi-billion-pound data partnerships with other countries to help speed up the transfer of data across borders.

The US, Australia, Korea, Singapore, Dubai and Colombia have been named as the first target partnerships, while countries including India and Brazil have been earmarked for future deals.

“Now that we have left the EU I’m determined to seize the opportunity by developing a world-leading data policy that will deliver a Brexit dividend for individuals and businesses across the UK,” said culture secretary Dowden.

“That means seeking exciting new international data partnerships with some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, for the benefit of British firms and British customers alike. 

“It means reforming our own data laws so that they’re based on common sense, not box-ticking. And it means having the leadership in place at the Information Commissioner’s Office to pursue a new era of data-driven growth and innovation.”