The Rt Hon Nadine Dorries MP,
Secretary of State,
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport,
10 June 2022
Dear Secretary of State,
During the last Queen’s Speech, the Government announced the introduction of a Data Reform Bill, which will replace the United Kingdom’s existing data protection laws. In November 2021, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a consultation known as “Data: a new direction”, which has put forward worrying and, in some cases, dangerous proposals to scrap the GDPR and the protections it affords to women, workers, patients, migrants, ethnic minorities, LGBT communities, and everyone else.
A formal response to the consultation addressing the concerns expressed by many has not been published yet. According to DCMS officials, the content of this response has not yet been finalised. DCMS invited a select and limited number of interested parties to continue engagement with their department beyond the formal consultation period, and reiterated such invitations in the days immediately after the Queen’s Speech, indicating that discussions had not yet closed.
In spite of that, DCMS turned down the offer to organise initial meetings with a wide range of civil society organisations, representing some of the groups that may be disproportionately impacted by any changes to data protection law. This reversal of DCMS’ offer of engagement has led to a suspicion that DCMS is keen to work with sympathising businesses and respondents of their choice while ignoring ordinary citizens and everyone who criticises their proposals.
The undersigned organisations are