UK Government Adds API Standards Clause To Data Protection Bill

December 5, 2023
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A new clause that has been added to the Data Protection and Digital Information bill looks promising for open banking standards in the UK.

A new clause that has been added to the Data Protection and Digital Information (DPDI) bill looks promising for open banking standards in the UK. 

The DPDI bill, which is set to replace the EU-derived General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the UK, is also expected to shore up open banking requirements thanks to a new clause added by the government. 

Last week, on November 29, the bill was passed in the House of Commons. It will now proceed to the House of Lords for consideration.

The new clause allows HM Treasury, by regulations, to grant powers to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). That would mean the authority can impose requirements, using rules or otherwise, on “interface bodies used by the financial services sector and on persons participating in, or using facilities and services provided by, such bodies”.

The clause was added by Michelle Donelan, secretary of state for science, innovation and technology. 

It determines that the Treasury can make provisions enabling or requiring the FCA to make financial services providers use a prescribed interface, prescribed interface standards or interface arrangements, when providing or receiving customer data or business data that is required to be provided by or to the financial services provider by data regulations. 

DPDI popular among stakeholders

As reported by Vixio in March, the data protection bill has received an enthusiastic reception. This is, in part, because it does not diverge significantly from the EU’s GDPR, and rather makes tweaks. 

The DPDI also looks set to move the UK further forward with smart data. Whereas the best existing example of this is open banking, the new bill would lay the groundwork for the government to introduce smart data schemes in markets such as energy, utilities and telecommunications.

In addition, the DPDI law would pave the way for a cross-sectoral and re-usable form of digital identity. 

Once the law passes, this should bring about equivalence between digital and paper forms of identity, access to government data attributes for certified identity providers and the certification regime itself, which would bring the UK up to speed with plans in the EU for a form of digital identity.

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