Call for Views on GDPR derogations closes

DCMS seeks views on themes including journalism exemption

The DCMS “Call for Views” on potential derogations from the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) closes tomorrow (midday 10 May 2017). The GDPR is an EU regulation, so will come into force in the UK on 25 May 2018 without the need for any domestic legislation. The government has confirmed that the Brexit process will not affect this. However, certain areas are left to national governments.

The government seeks views on exemptions and derogations available under a large number of articles of the GDPR. These include, “Theme 11: Freedom of Expression in the Media.” This relates to the question of what will replace the exemption for data processed for literary, journalistic and artistic purposes, which under the current law is at section 32 Data Protection Act 1998. The exemption is important for the media and other publishers who wish to publish or otherwise process personal data about individuals. Personal data is any data about a living individual from which they can be identified, either from that data alone or when combined with other data held by the same person or organisation.

Article 85 of the GDPR requires national governments to reconcile the right to protection of personal data with that of freedom of expression and information. A familiar balance for those working in privacy and data protection. Journalistic purposes and the purposes of academic, artistic or literary expression are all specifically referenced in Article 85. The Government has not yet brought forward legislation for this purpose and the Call for View seeks input on how this should be done.

Other areas or “themes” which are left to national governments and on which views are sort include:

  • The powers and operation of the supervisory authority – in the UK the ICO
  • Sanctions under the GDPR
  • Ways of demonstrating compliance with the GDPR, specifically Codes of Conduct and certification
  • Data Protection Officers
  • Archiving and research
  • Third country transfers
  • Sensitive personal data (under the GDPR “special categories of personal data”)
  • Processing of personal data relating to criminal convictions
  • Rights and remedies, including the ‘right to be forgotten’
  • Online processing of children’s personal data
  • Processing of data generally
  • Restrictions to individual rights and the data protection principles (this includes restrictions for reasons such as national security, public security, the enforcement of civil claims and the protection of the rights and freedoms of others)
  • Rules surrounding churches and religious organisations.

DCMS also ask an additional question about the cost impact of the GDPR: “In the context of the derogations above, what steps should the Government take to minimise the cost or burden to business of the GDPR?”

The Call for Views paper can be found here, and remains open until midday 10 May 2017. Responses can be submitted online.