BRUSSELS – Today, global tech trade association ITI welcomed the European Commission’s draft Adequacy Decisions for the United Kingdom (UK) following the country’s exit from the EU at the beginning of the year. The decisions conclude that the UK ensures an essentially equivalent level of protection to the one guaranteed in the EU, thereby allowing data to flow seamlessly between the two. The draft decisions, however, call for continuous monitoring of the UK’s privacy legislation, specifying that a renewal of the adequacy finding would take place after four years.
“Today’s decisions underline the importance of seamless and secure international data flows,” said Guido Lobrano, ITI Vice President and Director General Europe. “ITI fully respects and supports privacy protections to be included in any data transfer agreement. The free flow of data globally is crucial to promoting innovation and enabling the digital economy. We applaud the publication of the two draft EU-UK adequacy decisions and encourage a swift opinion by the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) and adoption by the Council of the EU. We trust this can serve as a benchmark for other ongoing and future Adequacy Decisions, including negotiations for a Privacy Shield successor agreement between the EU and U.S.”
With an ever-increasing volume in international data flows, policymakers around the world are grappling with the need to balance effective mechanisms for law enforcement access to data with robust privacy and redress, an issue which is increasingly difficult to solve in light of divergent legal regimes and the resource-intensive adequacy mechanism. To help find scalable, global solutions to this important issue, ITI recommends that governments participate in and leverage the recently established OECD project on trusted government access to personal data held by the private sector as a reference point for policymakers globally to work towards an international solution and regulatory convergence of best practices in this area.