EU/UK Data Flows – An Update

By: Dr Tristan Jenkinson

Following on from my previous article, the Financial Times are reporting that they have seen a draft decision from the European Commission which finds that the UK does have adequate data privacy protections in place.

The decision, which the FT suggest is expected to be approved some time this week, would mean that data flows would be able to continue as they are between the UK and EU. Having left the European Union, the UK technically became a “third country”, to which data flows are only allowed in specific circumstances – an adequacy decision (a decision from the EU stating that the country meets the requisite standards) is the one of those circumstances.

The Data and Marketing Association (DMA) also reports that the EU are likely to adopt a Data Adequacy decision for the UK, quoting a European Commission spokesperson as saying:

“The adequacy talks with the UK are well advanced and the adoption process is foreseen to start very soon”

The decision will surprise some, who had pointed to the Investigatory Powers Act, and suggestions that the UK may move away from the GDPR (including comments from the now ex-chief advisor to the PM, Dominic Cummings) as reasons that gaining an adequacy decision may not be straight forward.

Regardless, the decision, if it is approved this week, will be positively received by many who rely on the transfer of data between the UK and the EU and will be very welcome good news for the UK and EU alike.

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