miércoles, 4 de octubre de 2017

Personal Data in the future relationship EU-UK

Brexit negotiations are on march since some months ago. Strictly guided by the text of article 50 of the treaty, the conversations between the two parts has started talking only about the issues related with the UK´s exit from the EU. There are few if any digital issues to be tackled on this stage of the negotiations.

The British team is eeager to start the second stage of the negotiations on the future relationship, although for its dismay the efforts are despised by the EU. Not even the flood of papers on the future relationship published by the UK in August in order to prove its readiness to start the second phase has obtained any oficial reaction from the EU. Among the most ignored was the paper on personal data flows, "The exchange and protection of personal data - a future partnership paper".

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be one of the last EU regulations that are going to be applied in the UK. Although its applicability would end the Brexit day, there is a commitment with the continuity of its application on british soil. To be concrete, the new Brtish Data Protection Bill will bring the complete GDPR into British legal framework and the UK firms are taking seriously its fulfilment hiring people to meet with its obligations.

According with this privileged situation, the UK´s proposal for the future relationship on the field of data is continuity as if nothing has happened. Certainly, there is a sound rationale for the almost automatic publication of adequacy decission by the European Commission on Brexit day that would enable the continuity of data flows by UK and the EU. Furthermore, another option will be harmful for both parts.

Nevertheless, besides this logic proposal the paper also shows some clues that the UK has not grasp the dimension of Brexit. As an alternative for building up a regulatory cooperation in this area is to continue the involvement of the ICO (UK Data Protection Authority) in the EU Data protection Authorities network, but we the disclaimer that the UK government will be the unique responsible of the data protection in UK.

So it´s not a good start for the negotiations of the digital Brexit. As it was expected, digital economy looks as one cherry of UK´s cherrypicking strategy. That could mean on the end a tougher position from the EU on this field, and therefore more uncertainty about the final result. Another block on the middle of Europe´s digital policies.

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