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GDPR in the Age of Brexit

Friday 07 September 2018

The protection of data against potential hacks was tricky enough when the UK political climate was somewhat stable. Now, with the country shrouded in uncertainty over Brexit, 2018 is turning into a nightmare for those trying to keep their businesses on top of new legislation.

After Britain leaves the EU it is anyone’s guess what new laws will be written to ensure the cyber security of UK businesses. This alone would be enough for businesses to worry about, but the lack of clarity over just how the recently implemented GDPR will fit in is the icing on a very problematic cake.

The facts (subject to dramatic change) as we know them are currently that once the UK leaves the EU then its businesses will no longer have to comply with GDPR,  as all member states do. There is therefore potential for UK businesses to reject the recent regulations and for the UK Government to exercise its sovereignty by establishing new laws for data protection. Sounds simple, but typically there are complicating factors.

The main issue is that EU regulations dictate that any member state which trades with a company residing outside of the EU must ensure that the company is GDPR compliant. If it is not, then the inevitable sharing of data which would take place in a transaction would flout the GDPR compliance of said member state. If the UK still wants to trade with EU states then it will have to play by EU rules.  

The UK Government’s current attempt to address this uncertainty has taken the form of the Data Protection Bill. The impression we have of the bill so far is that it will largely mirror GDPR and will not be discernibly different.

The good news for businesses is that the likelihood is they will already be compliant with any new UK legislation if they are currently compliant with GDPR. And, if this GDPR compliance is maintained, they will be able to continue trading with EU companies once the UK is no longer a member state.

Only time will tell how this comes to pass, but to make sure your organisation is ready for an increasingly compliant future by visiting organisation and sessions specialising in GDPR and data protection at www.ipexpoeurope.com Register today.

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