EU to permit continued UK data flow post-Brexit

The European Commission will allow the continued free flow of personal data from the EU and wider European Economic Area.

The decision means that there will be no barrier for industries transferring banking data between Britain and the rest of Europe.

Positive draft data adequacy decisions under both the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Law Enforcement Directive (LED) found that the UK’s data protection standards should be found ‘adequate.’

The EU already recognises other countries around the world as adequate including Argentina, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and Uruguay.

The decision means that financial services, along with other industries, will continue to receive personal data from the EU and EEA without any additional compliance costs.

The draft decisions published by the Commission will now be shared with the European Data Protection Board for a ‘non-binding opinion’, before being presented to EU member states for formal approval.

“Although the EU’s progress in this area has been slower than we would have wished, I am glad we have now reached this significant milestone following months of constructive talks in which we have set out our robust data protection framework,” said secretary of state for digital, Oliver Dowden. “I now urge the EU to fulfil their commitment to complete the technical approval process promptly, so businesses and organisations on both sides can seize the clear benefits.”

Julian David CEO of techUK said: “The European Commission’s decisions that the UK’s data protection regime offers an equivalent level of protection to the EU GDPR reflects the UK’s high data protection standards.Today’s decision is warmly welcomed by the tech sector which has been making clear the importance of a mutual data adequacy agreement since the day after the referendum.

He added: “Receiving data adequacy, alongside the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, will set a solid foundation for digital trade with the EU, including strong non-discrimination clauses and positive data flows provisions, that will give businesses the confidence to invest.”
The ‘bridging mechanism’ will remain in place until June 30 or until the adequacy decisions come into effect, whichever is sooner.

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