To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the viability of obtaining a data adequacy decision from the European Commission before the end of the specified period covering the interim provision for transmission of personal data to the UK agreed under the terms of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
25 January 2021
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 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. In practice, we do not expect the bridging mechanism to be in place for more than 4 months, which is when the bridge is envisioned to expire, but there is scope to extend it to 6 months if required. As stated above, given the UK has an existing data protection framework that is equivalent to the EU’s, we see no reason why the UK should not be awarded adequacy in this timeframe.