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  1. ITV Report

Social media users to get greater 'right to be forgotten' online

The Data Protection Bill will be introduced after the summer break. Credit: PA

People will be able to ask social media companies to delete information they posted in their childhood, under new laws being put forward by the Government.

The legislation is designed to give people a greater "right to be forgotten" online, with firms having to delete information on children and adults when asked to.

The Data Protection Bill will make it simpler for people to control how companies use their personal details, with extra powers for the information watchdog to issue fines of up to £17 million.

The bill will require people to give explicit consent for their information to be collected online, rather than firms relying on pre-selected tick boxes.

Features of the legislation:

  • Allow people to ask for their personal data held by companies to be erased
  • Enable parents and guardians to give consent for their child's data to be used
  • Expand the definition of personal data to include IP addresses, internet cookies and DNA
  • Make it easier and free for individuals to require an organisation reveal the personal data it holds on them
  • Create new criminal offences to deter organisations from intentionally or recklessly creating situations where someone could be identified from anonymised data.

The legislation will bring the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into domestic law, helping Britain prepare for Brexit because it will mean the systems are aligned when the UK leaves the bloc.

The Information Commissioner's Office will be given significantly tougher powers, with the maximum fine it can levy being increased from £500,000 to £17m, or 4% of a firm's global turnover.

The bill, which was announced in the Queen's Speech, will be introduced in Parliament when MPs and peers return from the summer break in September.

Digital Minister Matt Hancock said: "The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world.

"It will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit."

Shadow culture secretary Tom Watson said: "As we are leaving the EU it is more important than ever that we have a robust data protection framework fit for the future.

"We'll be scrutinising the bill carefully to make sure it creates that future proof framework."