UK data experts have welcomed the news that the European Union will judge British data standards meet its requirements such that data can continue to flow between the EU and the UK.
An agreement by EU member states, reported by Reuters, means that adequacy decisions can now be adopted by the EU before the end of June, when a six-month post-Brexit grace period would otherwise come to an end. As a result, retailers and other businesses will be able to continue to deal with data in the same way as previously.
Chris Combemale, chief executive of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) says: “A positive decision on data adequacy is a huge relief for thousands of businesses across the UK – over half of businesses surveyed by the DMA just before Brexit stated this was important for the future of their business. The government estimated that without adequacy the UK economy could lose up to £85 billion, so this announcement is a significant boost after a challenging year.
“The DMA has been working with the UK Government and our DMA partners from across the EU since the Brexit deal negotiations began to impress the fundamental importance of this agreement. The UK can now progress new data legislation, such as the crucial National Data Strategy, knowing that a high-standards and innovation-focussed approach rests in harmony with the European perspective. We look forward to a strong relationship with Europe and the rest of the world in matters of data transfers and standards.”
Rob Mason, chief executive of data protection resource specialist DPO Centre says: “Data, and its freedom to cross borders between the EU and the UK, has remained a critical issue post-Brexit, so the European Commission granting the UK ‘data adequacy’ will come as a welcome relief to the thousands of companies, particularly those in the financial and healthcare sectors, who would otherwise have had to implement onerous additional transfer safeguards.”
He adds: “Going forwards, the UK has an opportunity to create a strong data infrastructure; with a high level of regulatory compliance, along with developing a data-literate workforce, and increasing the number of people with advanced data skills. The data economy is integral to the UK’s growth and future prosperity.”