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

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.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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