Nuisance Calls and Pop-up Cookies Crackdown Unveiled – Violators Will Face Tougher Fines | Political news


Businesses that make nuisance calls and texts will face stiffer fines under new data law proposals released by the government.

Penalties are set to rise from the current maximum of £500,000 to 4% of worldwide turnover or £17.5 million, whichever is greater.

Plans for the Data Reform Bill also include a goal to reduce the number of pop-up cookie banners on websites, with ministers proposing to introduce opt-out systems.

This would allow web users to set global date permissions in their web browser settings, removing the need to consent to cookies on every site visited.

The proposals are part of an official response to a consultation on the reform of data laws in the UK.

The government says the Data Reform Bill will bring national data laws into the digital age by reducing data protection “bureaucracy”.

The bill will also remove the requirement for small businesses to have a data protection officer or carry out impact assessments where the risk to data is low.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said the proposals showed the UK was benefiting from leaving the European Union.

“Today is an important step in cementing post-Brexit Britain’s position as a science and technology superpower,” she said.

“Our new Data Reform Bill will make it easier for businesses and researchers to unleash the power of data to grow the economy and improve society, but retains our global benchmark for data protection.”

“Outside the EU, we can ensure people can control their personal data, while preventing businesses, researchers and civil society from being held back by a lack of clarity and cumbersome EU legislation.”

Ms Dorries will also be given new powers to approve statutory codes and guidelines from the Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) as part of a proposed restructuring of the ICO.

Information Commissioner John Edwards said he supported “the ambition of these reforms”.

“I am happy to see that the government has taken our concerns about independence into account,” he said.

“Data protection law must give people the confidence to share their information to use the products and services that power our economy and our society.

“The proposed changes will allow my office to continue to operate as a trusted, fair and impartial regulator, and allow us to be more flexible and focus our action in response to the greatest harms.”

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