The UK’s new Data Protection Bill has been launched with the aim of “bringing data protection regime into the twenty first century, giving citizens more sovereignty over their data, and greater penalties for those who break the rules,” according to the minister for digital, Matt Hancock.

Forming part of the National Cyber Security Strategy, the bill is expected to protect the data of individuals and businesses online.

Sharethrough’s regional director EMEA, Ally Stuart, believes with the bill coming into play, “change is already afoot” and this is the time brands looked to change their tactics.

“Those taking an unobtrusive approach are a step ahead when it comes to compliance. Marketers need to spend the next few months auditing their data practices, reacquainting themselves with their customers’ preferred marketing mediums, and finding natural and compelling ways to speak to their audiences without invading their space – all the while gearing up for compliance,” he explained.

The bill comes out less than a year before the launch of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a set of rules coming into force to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe. The new bill will shift GDPR into UK law ahead of Brexit to ensure smooth flow of data across borders.

Chief privacy officer and VP of legal at Evidon, marketing analytics and compliance services, Todd Ruback is in “full support of the bill, which he believes will “give power and privacy back to consumers” as well as provide “much needed reassurance” at a time where privacy is a key issue. Ruback is also confident the new bill will align data protection in Great Britain with GDPR:

“Offering the opportunity for clear transparency between brands and consumers, the bill will allow digital commerce to continue at pace and thrive – once data has been processed accordingly.

“The bill will obviate Brexit-related fears that the data spigot will be turned off because the UK’s data protection law doesn’t offer the same level of protection as the GDPR,” he added.

Stuart commented many brands are already taking action to be ready for GDPR and changed how they handle customer data, with pub chain Wetherspoons deleting its email database and Google putting an end to scanning user emails for targeting insights.

“It will be interesting to see how other brands embrace and adapt to forthcoming legislation, and how they achieve creativity while ensuring compliance,” he added.