The UK and EU today agreed to adopt ‘data adequacy’ between them. Which will allow the continued flow of personal data between the two. That means that businesses active in both regions, which is just about everyone, will be able to transfer data from one to another as it always has.
The deal has come together just days before an interim deal was set to end. Failure to find such a deal would have put UK games businesses in a very awkward situation with regards to player profiles, online matchmaking and the like.
UK trade body Ukie was positive about the news, with CEO Dr Jo Twist saying:
“We welcome the news that a data adequacy deal has been secured between the UK and EU. Maintaining the free flow of data was one of the video games industry’s major priorities immediately identified following the 2016 referendum, as outlined in our September 2016 Brexit paper and our March 2017 State of Play report.
“Games businesses are digitally-driven, modern, global companies who rely on the free flow of data to operate. We should look to seize this opportunity to build similarly strong partnerships with territories around the world to help companies grow sustainably and responsibly, helping them to level up local economies in the process.”
The move accepts that the UK is a safe country for personal data flowing from the EU. Which means the country will still be held up to the standards set by GDPR.
However that status will have to maintained by the UK keeping up with the EU in terms of regulations on data protection and the like. Jon Baines, a senior data Protection specialist at law firm Mishcon de Reya, noted:
“No one should assume that the story ends here – the European Commission will continue to monitor the UK’s data-related laws and practice, and if it feels there is notable divergence from the EU model, it has the power to cancel the agreement. There will also certainly be some people watching closely from the sidelines, such as those in the civil society sector, who may bring challenges to the legality of the decision itself, or of data transfers made under the decision.”