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Privacy and trading pariah

Posted by on June 25, 2016.

The UK’s Information Commissioner has made a case for the implementation of the GDPR regardless of Brexit. This will be necessary to prevent the UK becoming a privacy and trading pariah.

…if the UK wants to trade with the Single Market on equal terms we would have to prove ‘adequacy’ – in other words UK data protection standards would have to be equivalent to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation framework starting in 2018.
Referendum result response

In other words we will have to negotiate our own safe harbor or privacy shield arrangement with the EU just like the US – and we’ve seen how easy that is. The upcoming Investigative Powers Act will give GCHQ similar if not greater power over EU data in the UK as the PATRIOT Act gives the NSA in the US.

It is likely, then, that the ECHR will start from the basis that EU personal information is not safe in the UK. UK companies will find trading with the EU difficult. The obvious solution would be to implement GDPR to demonstrate adequacy.

But I still see problems. The EC already has action pending against the UK for its failure to enact the original Data Protection Act adequately. If the UK couldn’t do that properly, how likely is it that it will enact the more rigorous GDPR to EU satisfaction?

I can see privacy fun and games ahead. The UK government’s total disregard for personal privacy could turn the UK into a privacy and trading pariah.


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Submitted in: Expert Views, Kevin Townsend's opinions | Tags: