GDPR UK – Data Protection Regulation (After Brexit)

Pritesh Vora

Pritesh Vora

Aug 09, 2022

united kingdom gdpr

Key Points

  • GDPR compliance is the strictest and the most important data protection law in the world.
  • UK GDPR applies to all cloud-hosted companies that collect, process, and use the personal data of citizens and residents of the UK.
  • Any company that fails to comply with UK privacy laws can face penalties up to £17.5 million or 4% of its annual turnover, whichever is higher, based on the article that has been breached.
  • The UK GDPR and EU GDPR are almost identical except for specific differences on matters of national issues.


If you run a cloud-hosted company that collects customer data in the United Kingdom (UK), you would have heard about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

GDPR is regarded as the most important data protection law in the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK). The primary purpose of UK privacy laws is to govern how cloud-hosted companies from around the world process their customers’ personal data in the EU and UK. 

However, when the UK left the European Union after the Withdrawal Agreement in 2020, UK citizens and residents were excluded from the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation law.

So, post-Brexit, the UK enacted its version of the EU’s GDPR. 

Today, it is famously known as data protection laws UK. 

The GDPR UK came into effect on 31st January 2020 through the Data Protection Act 2018, along with PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation) law. Together, these laws now focus on governing how UK citizens’ and residents’ data is processed. 

The UK privacy law is almost similar to the EU’s GDPR, except for certain essential differences. 

This guide provides access to more resources and in-depth information on GDPR for cloud-hosted companies.

What is GDPR Compliance UK?

The GDPR is regarded as the strictest data protection law in the world. The UK privacy law is just as comprehensive as EU GDPR.

For starters, the data protection laws in UK require cloud-hosted companies to obtain explicit consent from their UK customers before processing their data through cookies & third-party trackers.

The data protection laws UK also mandates cloud-hosted companies to document and place appropriate safeguards to protect every valid consent. 

It also requires cloud-hosted companies to let their UK customers change their consent just as easily and gives them the right to delete any already collected personal data.

What are UK GDPR’s Key Principles?

gdpr uk

The GDPR compliance UK constituted a total of seven principles to guide cloud-hosted companies in handling the processing of their UK customers’ data. 

These seven principles you’re about to learn are meant to be used as a framework for preparing your cloud-hosted company to become UK GDPR compliant.

Let’s get into the seven key principles of data protection laws UK:

  • Lawfulness, Fairness, Transparency – The first principle of UK GDPR mandates cloud-hosted companies to provide clear and concise clarification to the data subjects so that they can better understand how their data is protected and will be used.
  • Purpose Limitation – The second principle states that the personal data collected by cloud-hosted companies can only be used for the purpose originally disclosed to the data subjects and can not be used for any other purposes without taking their consent first.
  • Data Minimization – The third principle requires cloud-hosted companies to use personal data for the stated purpose by a cloud-hosted company or individual and not beyond that.
  • Accuracy – The fourth GDPR UK principle requires cloud-hosted companies to keep the personal data of data subjects accurate at all times. This principle helps cloud-hosted companies to ensure that the personal data they’re processing is directly related to the data subjects and that they’re interacting with data subjects professionally. 
  • Storage Limitation – This particular principle is an important one because it helps cloud-hosted companies to make sure that their UK customers know how long their data will be used, and how that data will be erased as soon as the cloud-hosted company is done using the data for its intended purpose. 
  • Integrity and Confidentiality – The sixth data protection laws UK principle enforces that cloud-hosted companies should only process the personal data of their UK customers if it’s necessary. Furthermore, they must only grant access to their employees who have a legitimate right to access the personal data of their UK customers.
  • Accountability – The last principle of UK privacy laws require cloud-hosted companies to first properly train their employees and make them understand what GDPR compliance is before letting them handle the personal data of their UK customers.

These are the seven key principles that every cloud-hosted company that collects personal data needs to adhere to. 

Failing to comply with them is a legal offense.  Companies that violate UK data privacy laws can face monetary penalties up to £17.5 million or 4% of their annual global turnover, whichever is higher. 

UK GDPR Vs EU GDPR: Major Differences

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for the United Kingdom is fundamentally the same as the European Union’s GDPR law. 

For instance, the UK data privacy laws includes all data protection rules of EU’s GDPR on personal data, data subject rights, controller and processor roles, and even the necessity for the legal basis for processing, including prior consent.

However, there are a few significant differences between UK GDPR and EU GDPR for domestic legal systems.

1 – National Issues

To be specific, the UK GDPR differs from the EU’s GDPR in the following three areas:

  • National Security
  • Immigration
  • Intelligence Services

All these areas are outside the scope of the EU’s GDPR rule. Therefore, the law has no authority to oversee national issues in the member states.

However, the GDPR compliance UK has established certain exceptions through which it is possible to bypass the regular protection of personal data like in matters of immigration and national security. 

Furthermore, the exceptions also apply to collecting and processing UK customers’ data to the intelligence services. 

2 – Information Commissioner

Another major difference between UK GDPR vs EU GDPR is that the Information Commissioner, the leading data protection authority in the United Kingdom, is also the leading supervisor, regulator, and enforcer of the UK privacy laws.

On top of this, the Secretary of State is also given the powers to either enforce or revoke adequacy decisions at the behest of GDPR UK. 

The Secretary of State can make decisions without consulting with the Information Commissioner. 

So, any cloud-hosted company in the world that processes UK citizens’ and residents’ data needs to comply with UK data privacy laws.

This also includes EU companies offering their services in the UK. 

Although, when UK GDPR came into effect, the law automatically recognized all EU-based cloud-hosted companies as sufficient while also recognizing existing EU adequacy decisions as UK competent. 

3 – Valid Age for Consent

The last notable difference between UK GDPR Vs EU GDPR is the valid age for consent. 

In the EU GDPR, the valid age for consent is 16 years. However, the same number has been lowered to 13 years in the UK GDPR. 

How to Become Compliant with United Kingdom GDPR?

Now that you’re aware of the key principles of UK GDPR and the major differences between UK GDPR and EU GDPR, let’s discuss the steps your cloud-hosted company needs to take to become UK GDPR compliant.

Step 1 – Create an Actionable Plan

The first step your cloud-hosted company needs to take to become UK GDPR compliant is to ensure that all data protection principles are properly applied, and all data subject rights are carefully preserved.

To achieve this, we recommend implementing appropriate technological as well as organizational measures. They are often referred to as data protection by design and default. 

For the uninitiated, implementing these measures simply means that your cloud-hosted company must integrate data security into the data processing operations. In addition, the business practices at your cloud-hosted company must also begin with the design stage and continue throughout the entire data processing lifecycle. 

Step 2 – Create a Processing Register

Like EU GDPR, the UK GDPR also requires cloud-hosted companies to document records of all data processing actions and keep those documents updated at all times.

GDPR Data Mapping generally covers the entire operational process of creating as well as maintaining a centralized inventory of all data flows at a cloud-hosted company.

Step 3 – Perform a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)

uk gdpr

If one of your cloud-hosted company’s personal data processing activities turns out to be incredibly high-risk, you must perform a data protection impact assessment (DPIA).

Step 4 – Create a Consent Management Framework

UK data protection act has raised the bar for cloud-hosted companies that ask for consent before processing personal data. 

The law now requires cloud-hosted companies that process the personal data of individuals in the UK to ensure their disclosures to use their personal information are straightforward, easy to understand, and concise. 

Besides this, cloud-hosted companies must also provide proof of consent using various methods. 

Step 5 – Assess and Mitigate Processor Risks

Under the UK data protection act, the controllers are held liable for their processors’ data breaches. 

Therefore, your cloud-hosted company must examine all data transfers and contractual commitments with an equal level of care as internal personal data processing operations to mitigate this risk fully.

Step 6 – Incorporate GDPR Compliance Training

Like EU GDPR, the UK GDPR mandates appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO) for cloud-hosted companies to oversee their adherence to the GDPR law. 

The DPO is primarily responsible for incorporating GDPR Compliance Training for the company’s employees. And the training sessions must begin with a refresher training course. 

On top of this, the cloud-hosted companies must also deploy a system that records all training sessions conducted to prove their compliance with UK data protection act. 

Step 7 – Identify and Appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO)

gdpr compliance uk

The Data Protection Officer is not only responsible for providing GDPR compliance training for employees of cloud-hosted companies. But, a DPO is also responsible for ensuring that their cloud-hosted company fully complies with the GDPR law.

Additionally, the DPO also needs to act as a bridge between employees and members of the public whose personal data is processed and used by their cloud-hosted company.

With that, we’ve finally covered all steps involved in becoming UK-GDPR compliant.


Complying with UK GDPR law is not an easy task, but all cloud-hosted companies that process the personal data of individuals in the UK need to comply with UK data privacy laws. 

Hopefully, this post helps your cloud-hosted company become compliant with UK GDPR. However, if you still find it challenging to comply with UK GDPR law, we can help! 

Sprinto is a platform that helps cloud-hosted companies obtain GDPR compliance to win the trust and confidence of their customers. Our white-glove, compliance automation solution can help you obtain both UK GDPR and EU GDPR compliances.  

FAQ:  GDPR United Kingdom – Data Protection Regulation

Does GDPR Apply to the UK?

Yes, the GDPR has been retained in domestic law as the UK data protection act. Today, it sits with the amended version of the UK’s Data Protection Act 2018. The key principles, data subject rights, and obligations remain the same as EU GDPR.

What is GDPR compliance UK?

Post-Brexit, the UK enacted its version of the General Data Protection Regulation through the Data Protection Act 2018. According to UK data protection act, any website or company that collects, processes, and uses personal data of individuals residing in the UK has to comply with Data Protection Principles.

What is Tier 2 Fine Caps GDPR UK?

When the UK implemented GDPR through The Data Protection Act 2018, it introduced two separate tiers of fines with it. For tier 2 violations, the maximum fine is up to £17.5 million or 4% of annual turnover, whichever is higher.

Which UK Act of Parliament was created for implementing GDPR?

The Data Protection Act 2018 was created to incorporate the UK version of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) post-Brexit. 

Pritesh Vora

Pritesh Vora

Pritesh is a founding team member and VP Growth & Marketing at Sprinto. He comes with over a decade of experience and is a data-driven dynamo in growth strategy, sales, and marketing! His strategies have crafted the success of not one, but two early-stage SaaS startups to 7-digit revenues within a year – he’s your go to guy for all things growth.

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