Who is Karen Bradley? No points if you said it was that shiny West Ham lady who sits next to Lord Sugar on the Apprentice, managing to look considerably more impressive than Surrralan even though she has spent a large part of her career propping up some pornographers. No, she is the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. More importantly, she is also the data protection Easter Bunny.And what sort of Easter Egg is the nice DCMS Bunny bringing us? Well, as anyone who has listened to us talk, or had us advise, on the GDPR will know, the GDPR is a weird hybrid Regulation with strong Directive-like elements. There are large, and very important, chunks of it which are left to Member States to implement, or are dependent upon provisions of Member State law. Without any further steps, the GDPR coming into force would create very considerable holes for the application of data protection law in the UK.
DCMS has been busy thinking about the issues implementation of the GDPR gives rise to, and yesterday, it commenced a consultation process asking for your views. The Call for Views document can be found here. This is definitely not a consultation in the traditional sense. Even a cursory read will reveal that DCMS has not provided any hint at all of what it might be proposing to do; it is simply a polite invitation for the wisdom of crowds (and/or the shouty people on Twitter) to give them some ideas of what they do or do not want to see happen. In essence, all of the articles of the GDPR which permit derogations or varying implementation in national law are grouped together for views to be expressed on how to approach them. There are lots of strong views out there, so if you don’t tell DCMS what they need to do, you can’t complain later when they don’t do it
The Call for Views closes on 9 May 2017. It might not be a giant Lindt Easter Egg. It might not even be a respectable sized Creme Egg. But it is an Easter treat of sorts and you are very welcome.