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  • 21 March 2024
  • 7 min read

The State of UK GDPR and Data Protection Laws in 2024

What is the UK's current stance on GDPR and data protection? Is the UK's Data Protection Laws changing in 2024? How can your organisation meet and satisfy UK GDPR and Data Protection legislation?
Blog Banner UK GDPR 2024

The protection of personal data should be a paramount concern for all organisations worldwide. At the forefront of data protection stands the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), serving as a beacon of transparency, accountability, and individual rights in the realm of data protection.

The state of UK GDPR and data protection Laws in 2024

In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the state of UK GDPR and data protection, spanning pivotal developments in 2023 to expected reforms in 2024.

UK GDPR and Data Protection in and before 2023

For many years, at the heart of the UK’s regulatory framework stood The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in 2018. The GDPR represented a landmark shift in how organisations handle personal data, emphasising transparency, accountability, and individual rights.

2023 and before

Key aspects of the UK's GDPR and data protection include:

  • Dedication to protecting individuals' privacy rights and fostering trust in the digital economy.
  • Legislation providing clarity and specificity on various aspects of data protection, ensuring organisations understand their obligations and responsibilities.
  • The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) serving as the UK's independent regulatory authority tasked with enforcing data protection laws. With powers to investigate breaches, impose fines, and issue guidance.
  • Maintaining close ties with European and global counterparts, the UK reinforces its commitment to harmonising data protection standards on a global scale.
  • Recognising the evolving nature of cyber threats and technological advancements, necessitating ongoing updates and refinements to its data protection framework.

For cyber security and awareness decision-makers, understanding the UK's current stance on GDPR and data protection is essential for shaping effective compliance strategies and risk management practices. By partnering with trusted experts like The Security Company (TSC), organisations can navigate the complexities of data protection with confidence, safeguarding sensitive information and preserving trust in an increasingly digital world.

In 2023, significant developments unfolded in the realm of data protection:

  • In January, the European Union introduced the NIS2 Directive alongside the enforcement of the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA).
  • March saw the release of a highly anticipated report by the UK government, titled “A pro-innovation approach to AI regulation,” outlining their stance on Artificial Intelligence.
  • The Irish Data Protection Commission made headlines in May by levying a hefty fine of 1.2 billion Euros against Meta, Facebook’s parent company, for data transfer violations to their US servers.
  • October marked a milestone as the UK and US jointly announced the establishment of a Data Bridge, aimed at facilitating seamless data transfers to the USA.
  • Wrapping up the year, December witnessed the introduction of the UK’s Data Reform Bill, known as the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, which underwent its initial and subsequent readings in the House of Lords.

These events from 2023 offer crucial insights into the evolving landscape of data protection, setting the stage for continued developments and challenges in 2024.

Is the UK Replacing The GDPR?

Post Brexit, the UK has taken an actively EU-separate approach to GDPR and data protection, whilst still emphasising continuity, adaptation, and alignment with international data protection standards.

UK GDPR and Data Protection

Anticipated for implementation in spring 2024, the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill represents a significant step in reshaping the landscape of data protection regulations in the UK. While the primary objective of the bill is to streamline compliance with UK data protection laws, organisations operating across the EU must continue adhering to EU GDPR provisions as well.

The major compliance differences are:

  • The transition from a mandatory Data Protection Officer (DPO) to a Senior Responsible Individual (SRI). The SRI must now be a member of senior management, a requirement not stipulated for DPOs previously.
  • Controllers faced with subject access requests (SARs) considered excessive must now substantiate their refusal, shifting the burden of proof onto the controller.
  • Regarding automated decision-making processes, controllers will now be obligated to provide transparent explanations for their processing decisions.

Having undergone its second reading in the House of Lords on 19 December 2023, the bill now advances to the committee stage where it will face rigorous scrutiny and review.

For organisations navigating the complexities of data protection laws in both the UK and the EEA, partnering with TSC offers a strategic advantage. By leveraging TSC's expertise and resources, organisations can stay abreast of regulatory changes and compliance requirements. Through tailored cyber security awareness and training initiatives, including eLearning modules, webinars, board engagement sessions, and security maturity surveys, TSC empowers organisations and their employees to uphold regulatory compliance effectively amidst evolving regulatory landscapes.

What can you do to maintain UK GDPR compliance as an organisation?

Whilst the UK government continues to work on its data protection bills and regulation, organisations must continue to adopt a proactive approach to maintain GDPR compliance, safeguard sensitive information, and mitigate the risks of data breaches. What does that look like?

1. Conduct Regular Data and Security Behaviour Audits:

  • Start by conducting comprehensive data audits to identify the types of personal data collected, processed, and stored by your organisation.
  • Identify and categorise high-risk data, such as sensitive personal information or data subject to special protections under the GDPR and apply data classification protocols.
  • Run a cyber security behavioural survey, such as TSC’s SABR, to assess your employees and their cyber security actions to pinpoint security gaps and departments in need of training and awareness of threats and risks.

2. Implement Robust Security Measures:

  • Deploy robust technical and organisational measures to ensure the security and confidentiality of personal data and other data protection protocol adherence.
  • Implement access controls, authentication mechanisms such as considered password security and MFA/2FA, and data encryption to limit access to personal data based on the principle of least privilege.

3. Establish Data Protection Policies and Procedures:

  • Develop and implement comprehensive data protection policies and procedures that outline the organisation's approach to GDPR compliance.
  • Ensure that employees are familiar with data protection policies and receive regular training on their responsibilities regarding data privacy and security.
  • Implement procedures for responding to data breaches, incident response protocols.

4. Monitor and Audit Compliance Efforts:

  • Regularly monitor and audit compliance efforts to ensure adherence to GDPR requirements and identify areas for improvement.
  • Conduct internal assessments, risk assessments, and compliance reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of data protection measures and controls.

5. Stay Informed About Regulatory Updates:

  • Stay abreast of changes to data protection laws, regulations, and guidelines issued by regulatory authorities such as the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
  • Continuously assess the impact of regulatory updates on your organisation's data protection practices and adjust compliance efforts accordingly.

6. Promote Cyber Security Awareness and Training:

  • Foster a culture of cyber security awareness among employees by providing regular training on data protection best practices, cyber security threats, and safe computing habits.
  • Conduct simulated phishing exercises, awareness campaigns, and interactive training sessions to educate employees about the importance of data privacy and security.
  • Empower employees to become vigilant guardians of data by promoting a culture of accountability, responsibility, and proactive risk mitigation.

For cyber security and awareness decision-makers, partnering with The Security Company (TSC) can take the stress away from you and your organisation's requirement to meet GDPR compliance efforts. Because we have more than 20 years of experience doing just this for global organisations of all sizes and industry, through tailored cyber security awareness and training campaigns, we can equip your employees with the knowledge, skills, and behaviours needed to uphold data protection standards and mitigate cyber risks effectively.

The Crucial Role of Cyber Security Training and Awareness in GDPR Compliance

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is not solely reliant on technical safeguards or legal frameworks. Instead, the human element—comprising employees at all levels of an organisation—plays a pivotal role in upholding GDPR compliance.

  • A Security Culture: While the GDPR outlines comprehensive requirements for data protection, compliance extends beyond mere adherence to regulatory mandates. Organisations must cultivate a comprehensive approach that encompasses technical controls, organisational policies, and—crucially—employee awareness and behaviour. By instilling a shared understanding of the importance of GDPR compliance and the role each individual plays in upholding it, organisations create a collective sense of responsibility for safeguarding sensitive information.
  • Mitigating Human-Centric and Insider Risks: Despite advancements in cyber security technology, human error remains one of the leading causes of data breaches and compliance failures. From inadvertent data disclosures to falling victim to phishing scams, employees represent both a vulnerability and a potential line of defence in safeguarding sensitive data. Cyber security training serves as a potent deterrent against insider threats and human error, which pose significant risks to data privacy and GDPR compliance. By raising awareness about the consequences of negligent or malicious actions, organisations can mitigate the likelihood of data breaches and compliance violations stemming from internal sources.
  • Cyber Security Champions: Cyber security training empowers employees with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to recognise, respond to, and mitigate cyber threats effectively. By educating employees about the principles of data protection, common cyber risks, and best practices for secure computing, organisations create cyber security champions that uphold vigilant practices and encourage others to follow suit.

Partnering with The Security Company (TSC)

For cyber security and awareness decision-makers, partnering with The Security Company (TSC) offers a strategic advantage in enhancing GDPR compliance efforts. TSC specialises in delivering tailored cyber security awareness and training campaigns designed to address the unique needs and challenges of organisations across various industries. By leveraging TSC's expertise, resources, and innovative approaches, decision-makers can strengthen their organisation's security maturity levels, fortify safe cyber security behaviours, and mitigate the risks of data breaches and compliance failures.


In the face of escalating cyber risks and evolving regulatory landscapes, the imperative to prioritise data protection has never been more pressing. With anticipated reforms on the horizon, organisations must remain vigilant, adaptable, and proactive in their approach to compliance. By embracing cyber security training, fostering a culture of awareness, and partnering with trusted experts like The Security Company (TSC), organisations can fortify their defences, mitigate risks, and uphold the highest standards of data protection.

Written by
Nas Ali
Cyber security and awareness content creator focused on emerging threats and the next wave of cyber security risks like AI, deepfakes and tech 4.0 initiatives in order to build towards a more secure organisational culture.
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