Brussels expects to agree to a data exchange with the UK in June

This content was published on March 16, 2021 – 1:45 PM

Brussels, 16 March (EFE). – European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said this Tuesday that the European Commission is expected to approve two adaptation projects on data exchange between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Reynders explained in a committee of the European Parliament that the European Data Protection Committee is studying parity between British standards and community standards and will present in April its opinion on adaptation projects.

These projects are protected by the General Data Protection Regulation and under the Data Protection in Criminal Matters Directive.

The Commissioner emphasized that UK data protection levels are “high and reciprocal”, so this represents an important point for relations once the temporary data flow regime between the European Union and the United Kingdom ends on June 30th.

In particular, Reynders noted that among the projects, aspects indicating British authorities’ access to data for national security purposes and police operations are important.

A related characteristic of British jurisprudence is that it is based on the principle of necessity and proportionality, according to the commissioner, which means that access to data by the intelligence services is subject to prior permission from a judicial agency.

Gwendolyn Delbus-Corfield, of the Greens, stated that there were doubts regarding the future of the agreement and asked the Commission for a follow-up.

Sophia In ‘T Veld, of Renew Europe, stated that the adaptation proposal is a “political decision” and reiterated that the UK is currently “not in compliance with the GDPR.”

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In this sense, Reynders assured that the committee would follow up and propose a 4-year limit after the agreement enters into force, after which decisions will automatically end and only if it is considered that the UK guarantees an adequate standard. Protection can be renewed.

The Commissioner also stressed the existence of mechanisms for suspension and cancellation “that can be activated immediately if there is an act that undermines confidence.”

Paul Tang, a member of the European Parliament from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, put forward the idea that “the United Kingdom can become a haven for data evasion and data security.”

Specifically, the agreement was discussed between the United States and the United Kingdom, which aims to share data in the context of specific criminal investigations, as the Commissioner explained, but according to some members of the European Parliament, it could put European data at risk.

However, Reynders emphasized that if there was a free flow of data with the United States without guarantees, “there would be a violation of British law.”

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