Home News Firms must “prepare for all scenarios” to maintain data flows when UK leaves EU

Firms must “prepare for all scenarios” to maintain data flows when UK leaves EU

by Brian Sims

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has urged businesses to “prepare for all scenarios” as it publishes dedicated guidance notes to help organisations prepare for the possibility that the UK leaves the European Union with ‘no deal’.

The guidance provides the same advice previously published on how to maintain data flows, but has been produced to be more relevant and accessible to specific organisations.

The sharing of customers’, citizens’ and employees’ personal data between EU Member States and the UK is vital for business supply chains to function and public authorities to deliver effective public services.

At the moment, personal data flow is unrestricted because the UK is an EU Member State. In the event of ‘no deal’, EU law will require additional measures to be put in place when personal data is transferred from the European Economic Area to the UK in order to make them lawful.

The ICO’s guidance sets out steps to take to keep the information flowing such as using pre-approved contract terms, which are currently used to transfer personal information worldwide.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “It’s crucial that organisations make sure they properly prepare for all scenarios. If your organisation sends or receives personal information to and from countries in the EU, this guidance will help you work out whether you need to take steps now and what you need to do to prepare. Even if you think your organisation doesn’t transfer data internationally, I’d urge you to read what we’ve produced and assess whether you need to act.”

The ICO’s website offers a range of advice and guidance to help organisations prepare for the UK leaving the EU, including checklists and interactive tools.

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