Brexit - what happens to data flows now?

December 30, 2020

A temporary solution has been agreed between the UK and EU to allow data flows to continue for a period of up to six months following the United Kingdom’s departure.

Data transfer arrangements currently in place will continue for this defined period while it is being decided whether the UK will be given ‘adequacy’ status. Although the EU has noted its intention to begin to look at an adequacy decision promptly, historically, adequacy decisions are a long process that usually take much longer than 6 months to be agreed and ratified.

An additional worry is that privacy advocates in the EU consider Britain’s widespread government surveillance powers to be a human rights issue that is not easily resolved, meaning a adequacy status is by no means certain. The UK has been asked to suspend its own data protection rules while the temporary arrangement is in place.

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