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Data Protection

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 134277, tabled on 6 January 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what further steps the Government needs to take to achieve data adequacy recognition from the EU.

Answered on

13 January 2021

We continue to talk to the Commission about their plans to finalise their adequacy assessment of the UK.

Once draft decisions are published by the Commission, the process will then move into an EU procedural phase before they are adopted. The European Data Protection Board of Member State regulators will issue a non-binding opinion on the decisions, and the European Parliament also has the right to scrutinise them. The draft decisions will then be subject to approval by the relevant EU Council working group (the Article 93 Committee) and the College of Commissioners. The UK will continue to engage constructively where necessary throughout the process until it reaches its conclusion.

The EU’s adequacy assessments, underway since March 2020, ascertain whether UK data protection standards are ‘essentially equivalent’ to the EU’s. Given we have an existing data protection framework that is equivalent to the EU’s, we see no reason why the UK should not be awarded adequacy and we expect the process to be concluded promptly.

The EU left insufficient time to adopt data adequacy decisions for the UK before the end of the transition period. We have therefore agreed with the EU a time-limited ‘bridging mechanism’ which will allow personal data to continue to flow as it did previously whilst EU adequacy decisions for the UK are adopted.