Data Protection Law (Brexit UK)

The UK has today issued Guidance on how UK Brexit Data Protection Law will operate. This guidance is here. There is already a UK Technical Notice on the subject.

The EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (EUWA) retains the GDPR in UK law. The fundamental principles, obligations and rights that organisations and data subjects have become familiar with will stay the same.

To ensure the UK data protection framework continues to operate effectively when the UK is no longer an EU Member State the Government will make appropriate changes to the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018 using regulation-making powers under the EUWA.

The regulations and more detailed guidance will be published in the next few weeks.

These regulations would:

• Preserve EU GDPR standards in domestic law

• Transitionally recognise all EEA countries (including EU Member States) and Gibraltar as ‘adequate’ to allow data flows from the UK to Europe to continue

• Preserve the effect of existing EU adequacy decisions on a transitional basis

• Recognise EU Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) in UK law and give the ICO the power to issue new clauses

• Recognise Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs) authorised before Exit day

• Maintain the extraterritorial scope of the UK data protection framework

• Oblige non-UK controllers who are subject to the UK data protection framework to appoint representatives in the UK if they are processing UK data on a large scale

I will add this legislation to the Global OHS and ENV Brexit Law List, in subscription Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists.

The Government has also issued 6 Steps for Business to take – here.

Six steps

1 Continue to comply Continue to apply GDPR standards and follow current ICO guidance. If you have a Data Protection Officer, they can continue in the same role for both the UK and Europe.

2 Transfers to the UK Review your data flows and identify where you receive data into the UK from the European Economic Area (EEA). Think about what GDPR safeguards you can put in place to ensure that data can continue to flow once we are outside the EU.

3 Transfers from the UK Review your data flows and identify where you transfer data from the UK to any country outside the UK, as these will fall under new UK transfer and documentation provisions.

4 European operations If you operate across Europe, review your structure, processing operations and data flows to assess how the UK’s exit from the EU will affect the data protection regimes that apply to you.

5 Documentation Review your privacy information and your internal documentation to identify any details that will need updating when the UK leaves the EU.

6 Organisational awareness Make sure key people in your organisation are aware of these key issues. Include these steps in any planning for leaving the EU, and keep up to date with the latest information and guidance.

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