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Queen’s Speech: Smart Data enters the conversation with new data reform law

The reformation of the data protection regime aims to increase participation in Smart Data schemes.

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In an exciting inclusion of Smart Data in this year’s Queen’s Speech at the state opening of parliament yesterday, the Data Reform Bill was introduced.

According to the Bill, it will increase industry participation in Smart Data scheme, which will give both citizens and small businesses more control of their data.

It also aims to take advantage of the “benefits of the Brexit” to create a world-class data rights regime to then create a new pro-growth UK data protection framework.

This in turn should reduce burdens on businesses, provide clarity on how to best use personal data and boost the economy, it says.

“The inclusion of Smart Data legislation in the Queen’s Speech brings us one step closer to expanding the benefits of open banking to other sectors of the economy, including energy, telecommunications, and pensions,” OBIE chair and trustee Charlotte Croswell said.

“It will put consumers and small businesses in control of their data and drive much needed innovation and competition.”

The Bill will also modernise the Information Commissioner’s Office, ensuring it has the capabilities and powers to take action against organisations that breach data rules, while also making it more accountable to both Parliament and the public.

“Consumers and SMEs are benefiting from the UK’s mandatory approach, with over five and half million active users, and over half of SMEs using open banking today,” Crosswell continued.

“The government’s and regulators’ commitment to the continued momentum and growth of open banking, together with Smart Data, demonstrates their commitment to using data for the good of our people and businesses.”

The Bill comes under the category of “growing the economy to address the cost of living” alongside other notable new laws for the fintech space, including the Financial Services and Markets Bill and the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill.

“Data can unlock a whole suite of benefits for consumers and small businesses and can be mobilised to combat the increase in cost of living through better access to credit, increased competition between incumbents and supporting new market entrants, and better management of household and company bills,” Crosswell added.

The Bill outlines the main benefits this should bring, including creating a clearer regulatory environment for personal data use and ensuring the regulator takes appropriate actions against organisations that breach data rights.

Smart Data, and open finance will revolutionise the way we access financial services, and we are pleased that the Government is determined to support this,” TISA Digital CEO Harry Weber-Brown said. 

“With the consumers' request, OSIP will enable FinTechs and other financial institutions to access savings, investment, and pensions data via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), enabling data sharing in a secure environment, utilising data standards and optimising the user experience,” he added.

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