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Data Protection post Brexit

The UK and EU have agreed a 4-6 month “bridge” to allow continued free flow of data from the EU/EEA to the UK. This agreement ends on 30 June 2021. This relies on continued alignment of the UK and EU rules, which has been achieved by adoption of the EU GDPR into law as the UK GDPR.

During this period, we need to put in place measures just in case the agreement lapses. Most of us will have already dealt with Standard Contractual Clauses with our suppliers as part of the GDPR process during 2018, and contracts signed since are highly likely to include the relevant information. The EU Court of Justice upheld the validity of these clauses in 2020 so it is likely that you having nothing to worry about. If in doubt, contact your Data Protection representative.

The EU will need to make an Adequacy Decision allowing the continued flow of EEA data into the UK which is now seen as a 3rd country, without further safeguards being required. Here in Wales, Welsh Government has advised us to assume that a No Adequacy decision will be made, to ensure that we are ready for any eventuality, which is good advice for all of the UK. This is, however, unlikely to affect most of us as in our areas it is unlikely that we are receiving data from outside the UK.

As the UK government has recognised and adopted previous EU Commission Adequacy Decisions, flow of data from UK to EEA is not affected - The EU GDPR has been retained in UK law and works alongside the Data Protection Act 2018, so the principles and rules that apply have not changed in the UK.

The Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations, which cover, amongst other things, Cookies and marketing and are responsible for the Cookie popups online, were derived from EU regulations but are already part of UK law and remain in place unchanged.

In a nutshell, there are no real changes currently, due to the bridging period, and it is probably unlikely that there will be many changes going forward, but it will definitely be worthwhile keeping an eye on the and ICO sites below to get any updated information. You can also discuss on the Community Forum

Kevin Davies, Leadership Team

Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Torfaen

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