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European Commission Proposes UK Data Adequacy Agreement

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The European Commission (EC) has indicated its intention to provide data conformity agreements to the UK under official approval from EU member states.

The Commission has published two draft data adequacy decisions under the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and LED (Legal Enforcement Guidelines) to enable the continued transfer of personal data to the UK. Their official adoption

The purpose of data adequacy determination is to determine whether countries outside the EU (European Union) or sectors within a country have essentially the same data protection standards as blocks, and therefore can share data.

The UK has already decided according to its own rules that the EU provides an adequate level of data protection, and the current draft decision attempts to assess whether data can still move in the other direction from the EU to the UK after Brexit.

By decision, the EC believes that the UK’s data protection laws ensure an essentially equal level of protection for personal data in both the GDPR and LEDs, and that oversight mechanisms and remedies are strong enough for data subjects to: We exercise infringement of rights and sanctions.

Both draft decisions are now scrutinized by the European Data Protection Commission (EDPB), but since the board itself has no power to block the decision, it must be approved by EU member states before it can be fully adopted. EC.

Data can now be moved from the EU to the UK under a trade and cooperation agreement concluded on December 24, 2020, which provides a six-month consolidation period that allows a continuous flow of data while the appropriateness decision is fully evaluated.

Safe data flow between the EU and the UK is critical to maintaining close trade relations and working effectively in combating crime. Today we start the process to achieve this. We have thoroughly checked the privacy systems in effect after the UK left the EU, said Attorney Didier Reynders.

Now, the European Data Protection Authority will thoroughly review the draft text. When personal data moves through the channel, it should not undermine the basic right of EU citizens to data protection. Once adopted, the feasibility decision will ensure that.

If the Member State agrees that the UK is appropriate under the LED, then such adequacy decisions were first made in accordance with the Directive and currently most law enforcement data transfers from the EU are governed by international agreements that do not take into account. The present standard of essential equivalence.

With Andorra, Argentina, Canada, Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Israel, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Uruguay, 12 feasibility decisions have been made under the GDPR since it came into force in May 2018. Recognized by the EC as appropriate jurisdiction.

In July 2020, the EU Court of Justice (CJEU) signed an EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Data Sharing Agreement for failing to ensure that European citizens have adequate remedies when data can be collected by the U.S. National Security Agency. Abolished. NSA) and other U.S. intelligence agencies.

Known colloquially as Schrems II after the Austrian attorney who filed the case against CJEU, the ruling found that people deserve essentially equal protection as they receive in the EU when data is transferred to the United States and other countries. The GDPR and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights guarantees people the right to personal communications and personal data protection. EU-US data adequacy status has not yet been fully resolved.

While the two conformity decisions for the UK aim to achieve the same mandatory equivalence standards, the rules for personal data protection differ between the GDPR and LED, the latter setting sector-specific rules governing how personal data is processed. Sent by criminal justice agencies for law enforcement purposes.

Thus, formal adoption of one feasibility decision does not mean that the other decision is automatically adopted. Because both have to be evaluated separately according to their own strengths.

UK government and technology sector respond to GDPR adequacy

Digital Secretary of State Oliver Dowden welcomed the announcement of the draft decision, which claimed it reflects the UK’s commitment to high data protection standards.

While the EU’s progress in this area was slower than we had hoped for, we’re excited to reach this important milestone through months of constructive conversations that have set up a robust data protection framework.

Now, I urge the EU to deliver on its commitment to expedite completion of the technology approval process so that businesses and organizations on both sides can gain a clear advantage.

The draft decision has also been positively received by industry bodies representing various companies in the UK technology sector.

Today’s decision is eagerly welcomed by the tech sector, which has clarified the importance of mutual data adequacy agreements since the day after the referendum, TechUK CEO Julian David said.

Ensuring data adequacy in conjunction with the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement will provide a solid foundation for digital trade with the EU, including strong non-discrimination provisions and positive data flow provisions, giving companies confidence in their investments.

Stephen Kelly, Chairman of Tech Nation, added that the international transfer of data is important to UK technology, especially in sectors such as financial technology (fintech) where rapid growth is expected to secure the value of the data.

The data economy accounts for about 4% of the country’s GDP and is expected to be worth $130 billion by 2025, making the UK a global hub for data flow. Hence, a positive adequacy decision between the UK and the EU brings good news to the tech sector after months of waiting and contingency planning during bridging, he said.

This supports the continued growth of technology expansion and the UK’s position as a global leader in data-driven technologies. Looking ahead to improve rebuild, the international flow of data is essential to fostering the next generation of business innovation and driving change in our society.

Potential issues related to securing LED adequacy

In early February 2021, the EDPB published its first guidance on LEDs, and noted that in the light of setting the evaluation criteria, feasibility decisions should be focused on evaluating the existing laws of relevant third countries as a whole in theory and practice. Out from the LED.

Also, a meaningful analysis of adequate protection [therefore] It consists of two basic elements. It is a means of ensuring the content of applicable rules and their effective implementation in practice.

While the EDPB writes in the context of LED conformance, the process of analyzing UK data protection law, both in theory and in practice, also applies to GDPR conformance.

Data protection experts have previously warned that the UK’s LED promise is on papers through a change in Part 3 of the Data Protection Act (DPA 18), but is confirmed by an EC draft decision on specific practices within the UK’s information services and criminal justice sector. (CJS) may undermine a country’s ability to make positive adequacy decisions following the guidelines.

These concerns also apply to GDPR conformance, but stricter rules on how data is transmitted for law enforcement purposes means there are particularly problems with LED conformance.

In particular, they cited the close relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States, which lacks adequate data protection standards, and the United Kingdom’s unique intrusion surveillance regime (as specified in the Investigation Rights Act 2016) as issues. With the Snooper Charter.

The increasing use of U.S.-based public cloud services by the UK police and the wider CJS has also been cited as a potentially major issue for the UK’s ability to achieve LED conformance due to the possibility of future transmissions to and from the remote access to that data. -Appropriate jurisdiction.

The Draft Decision is a 50+ page document that requires detailed analysis to understand the whole, but the first impressions of law enforcement experts expressed disappointment that the EC document is primarily a legal summary and does not seem to take these practical and practical aspects into account. .

They also suggested that this EC adequacy recommendation has been published but is still too early to assume it will pass.

According to Owen Sayers, an independent UK-based privacy consultant with extensive knowledge of LEDs, LEDs are not a single regulation that applies across the EU, like the GDPR. When we were EU members, each EU member state, including the UK, created its own interpretation of the Directive, and the EC recently published a study of several implementations that show how different countries across the EU.

Sayers added. Each Member State will want to review the EC recommendations to ensure that the results are consistent with their own laws. In fact, the UK needs 27 positive legal reviews for LED alignment to pass appropriately, while the GDPR only needs one.

Nevertheless, it is not yet clear how much data EU member states will share. Discovery of appropriateness enables data sharing, but members are not obligated to do so.

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