Act now to protect flow of personal data with EU, ministers told

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Nov 30, 2017
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Britain will be removed from the legal framework covering the flow of personal data after Brexit

EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Ministers must strike a deal with the EU over the flow of personal data or risk crippling the exchange of information, international lawyers warned yesterday. 

When the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 it will be removed from the legal framework covering the flow of personal data. 

According to lawyers at Dentons, the global law firm, unless an updated deal is agreed “transfers of personal data across Europe will be severely limited”. And those that remain will be subject to “alternative mechanisms which can be costly or complex”.

The firm, which published a report on post-Brexit data flows yesterday, said that there could be significant additional financial costs for the UK and remaining EU economies unless a replacement deal was struck.

“It is in the interests of both the UK and EU27 to act on this issue as soon as possible,” the firm argued in a statement.

The report called for the two sides to kick off an “adequacy assessment processes” as soon as possible and to create a “standstill transitional arrangement for a set term” to avoid a “cliff-edge” in the movement of personal data.

It also calls for UK ministers to assess whether any additional EU concerns about the UK’s data protection framework are addressed, particularly regarding national security issues.

The government should ensure that its transfer regimes with non-EU countries such as the US “provide equivalent levels of protection to those set out in the EU’s regime as this will form a key part of the EU’s adequacy assessment”, it said.

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