July 2, 2018 : Brexit: UK Government seeks Data Protection Agreement with EU:

Why do we need a Data Protection Agreement with EU?

The UK Government is pushing hard for a data protection agreement with EU member states. Instead of the present Adequacy Decision, a legally-binding agreement would provide transparency to EU citizens and businesses, providing a more effective dispute resolution mechanism. This would minimise the disruptions caused by legal challenges and ensure closer regulatory cooperation between EU and UK Data Protection Acts and prevent simultaneous complaints, investigations and fines. The Government has outlined the benefits that a legally-binding data protection agreement with EU will bring:

Legal certainty, stability and transparancy

  • Improved legal certainty, stability and transparency

  • Better cooperation on enforcement and investigations for EU citizens

  • Cost savings and more efficient processes for EU businesses

  • Benefits to EU regulators, citizens and businesses from ICO’s resource andexpertise

A legally-binding agreement would deliver better outcomes for EU citizens exercising their rights. They reduce the costs for EU businesses, lower the risks of interrupted data flows, and avoid duplication of effort. These benefits cannot be provided by a standard Adequacy Decision.

Despite Brexit, the UK’s relationship with the European Union is unique, compared to other countries. The UK is in full compliance with EU data protection law, having implemented the GDPR and Law Enforcement Directive. The UK is also committed to the same high standards of data protection, and is willing to enter into a legally-binding agreement agreement tro guarantee future enforcement.

An agreement will not affect the EU’s ability to change its own data protection legislation, nor the EU’s decision-making autonomy.

Cooperation on enforcement and investigations

It is evident that concerns around data protection are increasing, with EU citizens understandably expecting their respective governments to protect their personal data. A huge amount of personal data flows between the EU and UK, and affects wide areas of EU citizens’ lives. It is important that a level of regulatory cooperation is maintained in order to:

  • avoid unnecessary complexity and duplication

  • remove any difficulty for EU citizens in enforcing their rights and gaining redress

  • avoid EU citizens having to make complaints to both EU and UK regulators for the same breach

  • enable the continued contribution of UK resources, expertise and global influence

The Commission will … Develop international cooperation mechanisms with key international partners to facilitate effective enforcement.

Keeping it simple for EU citizens and businesses

A one-stop-shop for dealing with major breaches involving EU citizens’ personal data will enable a straightforward process for EU regulators to work with the Information Commissioners Office. Moreover, EU citizans will enjoy much simpler arrangements with the ICO still in the European Data Protection Board. Source: ‘Technical Note – Benefits of a New Data Protection Agreement‘ – UK Government

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