On Friday, the European Commission gave its agreement to the continued transfer of personal data of European citizens to the UK, which is seen as a major issue in the post-Brexit relations of the European Union for many companies and for police cooperation.
The European Executive Branch, after “carefully evaluating the UK’s personal data protection legislation and practices”, concluded that the UK “provides a level of protection substantially equivalent” to that guaranteed in the European Union.
This decision should still obtain the positive advisory opinion from the European Data Protection Council, and get the green light from member states for its final approval.
The committee’s decision states that at the end of the transition period ending at the end of June, set out in the post-Brexit agreement, personal data communications to the UK may continue as if they were internal mass transfers, without the need for additional licenses or guarantees.
This will be valid for four years and will be reviewed before renewal.
The Vice President of the European Commission, Vera Gorova, explained that the mechanisms were expected to be “able to monitor” this decision, “re-examine it, suspend it or withdraw it in the event of a problematic development” from the British side.
“The basic right of European Union citizens to protect data should not be compromised when personal data crosses the English Channel,” stressed the European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders.
The European Union has similar agreements with 12 entities and countries (including Japan, Switzerland, Canada, and Israel) and is holding talks with South Korea.
alm / ahg / mis