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26 August 2021

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, of the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), today announced the Government's preferred candidate for the post of Information Commissioner to replace Canadian, Elizabeth Denham, who stands down on 31st October.

He is another Commonwealth citizen, John Edwards, who has served two terms as New Zealand's Privacy Commissioner since 2014 and comes with both a regulatory and legal background spanning over 20 years.

At the same time, the minister announced plans to consult on the future of the country’s data regime with the aim of making the UK's data regime even more ambitious, pro-growth and innovation-friendly, while still being underpinned by secure and trustworthy privacy standards. He said that he was 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."

The intention appears to be to forge new international data partnerships with fast growing economies to benefit British firms and consumers. That will mean reforming the data laws so that they are "... based on common sense, not box-ticking."

Forming these partnerships will involve making early ‘data adequacy' decisions in favour of the United States, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the Dubai International Finance Centre and Colombia, followed by India, Brazil, Kenya and Indonesia.

We can only await developments with interest.

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