Information commissioner calls for post-Brexit Britain to implement EU data rules

Elizabeth Denham
Elizabeth Denham

The UK’s newly-installed information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has called for the UK to implement upcoming EU data protection laws in spite of the Brexit vote.

Ms Denham told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “I don’t think Brexit should mean Brexit when it comes to standards of data protection.”

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) introduces major changes around data protection, risk assessments, and the notification of authorities within 72 hours of a breach.

The regulation comes into force on 25 May 2018 and will apply to companies anywhere in the world that handle the data of EU citizens.

Ms Denham said: “The UK is going to want to continue to do business with Europe.

“In order for British businesses to share information and provide services for EU consumers, the law has to be equivalent.

“The UK was very involved in the drafting of the regulation - it will likely be in effect before the UK leaves the European Union - so I’m concerned about a start and stop regulatory environment.”

Adrian O’Connell, partner and head of contracts and technology at Tughans
Adrian O’Connell

Adrian O’Connell, partner and head of contracts and technology at Tughans, told Irish Legal News: “The question whether or not to adopt forthcoming EU data protection laws, highlights a dilemma for the UK that Brexit poses in a number of areas of regulated activity.

“The choice is between striking-out on its own to give the UK a competitive edge, and the uncertainty and cost to business, in the short-term at least, of creating a regime that divergences from that of the rest of the EU.“

Tags: Brexit

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