privacy, privacy policy, affiliate marketing, digital marketing, data protection, data privacy, gdpr

How will new UK Data Privacy laws affect marketers?

When the UK left the European Union, this meant a departure from the bloc’s flagship data privacy legislation, the GDPR. In its place, the government introduced the Data Protection Act 2018, which was designed to replicate many of the details found in the GDPR and replace the existing Data Protection Act 1998.

Earlier this month, the government introduced a revised version of the act, named the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, to parliament. What changes to the law can we expect to see in this updated bill, and how will they impact marketers? Let’s find out.

Legitimate interest

Under the terms of GDPR, customer data collected by businesses can be used without the express consent of said customers as long as the business had a ‘legitimate interest’ for doing so. This particular law has long been criticised as vague and unclear. As a result, many businesses opt to play it safe and limit their use of customer data to avoid any potential penalties.

With the new Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, the government has attempted to clarify what legitimate interest means. Now, attracting customers through direct marketing means is now classed as a legitimate interest. This will give marketers more confidence and encourage increased use of customer data.

Speaking about this particular reform, Data and Marketing Association CEO Chris Combemale said: “Attracting and retaining customers and donors is a fundamental legitimate interest of businesses and charities, so we are delighted the government has acknowledged this in the reforms to help drive innovation and growth.

“It was important to our community that we focused reforms on the needs of both businesses and their customers to ensure the right balance was achieved for all.”

Reducing paperwork 

Businesses operating under GDPR rules are required to keep stringent records regarding the collection, storage, and management of customer data. This can be a laborious and time-consuming process, requiring significant manpower and resources. However, it is essential, as failing to follow the rules can incur fines of up to €10 million or 2% of a company’s annual turnover.

In the updated UK bill, the government is looking to scale back the record-keeping requirements previously seen under GDPR. This is part of an intended ‘no-nonsense approach’ designed to streamline business operations and reduce bureaucracy.

This will be particularly beneficial for smaller companies that do not have the resources required to meet the GDPR standards. Now, marketers who are not processing high volumes of customer data will not be required to complete vast amounts of paperwork.

This will be a welcome change for smaller businesses and marketing firms. It will free them to focus on other areas of their business and drive growth.

Relaxed consent regulations

Consent is a fundamental part of the GDPR. Under the terms of the legislation, businesses must have a legal basis for collecting and processing customer data. The easiest way to do this is by getting the consent of customers, often through opt-in forms displayed on company websites.

With the new UK bill, the government hopes to reduce the need for companies to seek consent for gathering customer data, particularly when using cookies to track customers’ online activity.

A reduction in the prevalence of cookie consent banners and pop-up ads will allow marketers to streamline and optimise their digital platforms, making for a more user-friendly experience and more visually appealing designs.


The updated Data Protection and Digital Information Bill is currently being deliberated by parliament. It looks set to shake up data privacy regulations in the UK and will be of particular interest to affiliate marketers and other digital business owners.

By clarifying legitimate interest, reducing the amount of required paperwork, and relaxing consent regulations, the government is hoping to modernise the UK’s data privacy laws and foster a pro-growth environment that put businesses at the forefront.

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