In Brief

UK unveils 'right to be forgotten' data bill

Changes will give more privacy and allow firms to handle EU data after Brexit

Britons could gain the right to have online information erased under a new data protection bill that will give people greater control over how their personal details are stored.

The proposed legislation could force social media companies and online traders to delete private data on request or face fines of up to £17m or four per cent of their global turnover.

The bill will include a "right to be forgotten", says digital minister Matt Hancock. "It will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use and prepare Britain for Brexit." 

But the BBC says that companies can refuse such requests, citing arguments such as "freedom of expression and matters that are of scientific or historical importance".

The UK plan is part of a larger overhaul of data protection policy in order to bring UK law in line with EU regulations so that data can continue to flow freely across borders after Brexit, reports Wired

The plans were announced by Theresa May during the election campaign and the Queen's Speech, but "the measures appear to have been toughened since then", says The Guardian

The plans will "give people the right to have all their personal data deleted by companies, not just social media content relating to the time before they turned 18".

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