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New data protection laws will accelerate the shift to people power

Savy is part of a thriving culture of innovation in Britain that is seizing the opportunity to go beyond policy and to build the services and platforms that return greater power and value to consumers.

Following today's announcement by Minister of State for Digital Matt Hancock and the Department's Statement of Intent, we asked Oscar Vickerman, CEO of Savy, one of Symvan's investee companies, to comment.

"At Savy we fully support plans to give the people of Britain more control over their personal information online, and see it as a vital step towards helping everyone unlock the value in their data. Government proposals to overhaul data protection legislation in the UK, announced by Digital Minister Matt Hancock today, mark a significant shift in the rights citizens have over who holds their data and what is done with it.

We believe, though, that the implications go far beyond legislation. What is at stake here is the fundamental right of every individual to benefit from the insight and value their combined information holds.

Better data protection laws are absolutely necessary in a world that depends so much on using our personal information. But this is not just a policy issue, it’s really important that people understand what information about them is held by others. They need to be able to see that information, to own it and, where necessary, to have it removed. Having that control is an essential right in our digital society and until we achieve that we won’t fully understand what is out there about us and how powerful it is.

The proposed new legislation will bring the UK into line with the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which introduces significant new rights over the use of personal information for EU citizens – and stiff penalties for organisations found in breach of it.

We believe that what is policy in Europe is an opportunity for the UK to go further, to create ways to help people understand the value of owning, understanding and deriving value from their information. This is more than a regulatory compliance issue for companies – it is an opportunity to understand one’s value as an individual.”

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