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Data Protection: EU Law

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 82137, tabled on 28 August 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Government has made of the likelihood of the UK receiving a positive data protection adequacy finding from the European Commission in the event that the transition period ends without a deal on the future relationship.

Answered on

9 September 2020

It is our intention to secure positive adequacy decisions from the EU to allow personal data to continue to flow freely from the EU/EEA to the UK. We see the EU’s assessment process on data adequacy as technical and confirmatory of the reality that the UK is operating the same regulatory frameworks as the EU, and we consider that it is self-evidently in the interest of both sides to have adequacy decisions in place by the end of the year. No other third country's standards have ever been closer to the EU's.

Adequacy assesses whether UK data protection standards are ‘essentially equivalent’ to the EU’s, not identical.

However, we will take sensible steps to prepare for a situation where decisions are not in place by the end of the transition period. In such a scenario businesses and other organisations would be able to use alternative legal mechanisms to continue to transfer personal data. Guidance is available on the Information Commissioner's Office website.

The UK is a global leader in strong data protection standards and protecting the privacy of individuals will continue to be a priority.