GDPR: How will Brexit affect my business’ obligations to data protection?
Data protection has been a significant focus point since the May 2018 introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”). The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has caused widespread confusion about its effect on GDPR and whether organisations must continue to comply GDPR in the event the UK leaves the EU.
Simply put, organisations will still have to comply with GDPR regardless of Brexit and (you may be unsurprised to hear!) compliance will become more complicated.
Legally, organisations will still have to comply with GDPR regardless of Brexit because:
These measures reflect the importance the UK places on minimising barriers to data sharing with the EU as well as the UK’s involvement in the original drafting of the GDPR.
Although we know the GDPR will continue to apply, the continuing uncertainty over whether and on what terms the UK will exit the EU means the potential for significant additional confusion and uncertainty as to how it will apply. Here are a few examples of the problems you may face.
In the event of Brexit, if your organisation uses the personal data of EU citizens, whether providing goods and/or services to them directly or under a data processing contract with a European customer, you will need to review your contracts to ensure you and your customers are not inadvertently in breach of data protection law. You will also need to consider where in Europe you are likely to be subject to regulation, appoint and liaise with a formal “representative” and get advice on how local data protection law differs from our own.
PDT’s data privacy team can help your organisation identify its data protection risk areas and take steps to reduce the risk of enforcement action and negative publicity. Contact Noel Ruddy or Ian Lindley today to see how we can help you.
With thanks to Victoria Jackson in the preparation of this article.
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