Facebook’s ‘Unlike’ For Privacy Czar John Edwards In Major UK Move

Facebook's 'Unlike' For Privacy Czar John Edwards In Major UK Move 2

The New Zealand Privacy Commissioner is set for a new job in London . . but Facebook won’t be happy (which should not worry the rest of us)

New Zealand Privacy Commissioner John Edwards is reliably reported to be Britain’s next privacy czar, following a UK government announcement.

The UK government said Edwards’ role as chief data protection watchdog, was reported from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and will not be liked by Facebook who have been the subject of caustic criticism from Edwards via his Twitter account.

Facebook's 'Unlike' For Privacy Czar John Edwards In Major UK Move 3

Following the 2018 Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal Edwards publicly announced that he was deleting his account with the Facebook, accusing them of not complying with the country’s privacy laws.

He will replace current commissioner Elizabeth Denham who is overdue for replacement, although it requires formal assent from the DCMS and the Queen.

Edward’s more belligerent stance towards Big-Tech fits with the UK government’s desire to bring about legislation focused on safety on the digital social media platforms and as it reforms the competition rules for the platforms.

The UK government has been looking at how to rework the current EU-driven data protection laws to reduce user rights and looking at driving data-driven innovation.

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was a centre-piece for UK law but things are changing.

A recent UK government task force argues that GDPR should be replaced with a new UK framework for data protection noting that “GDPR is prescriptive, and inflexible and particularly onerous for smaller companies and charities to operate.”

“GDPR aims to give people control over their personal data but rarely does so. In many cases, it results in, quite literally, a tick-box exercise.

“The overemphasis on consent has led to people being bombarded with complex consent requests.”

It is apparent that the changes to the legislation, the need for a turbo-charged digital-driven economy and an equal need for privacy issues to be protected will see John Edwards’ move into a hotly debated area of digital discussion.

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