NEWS5 January 2021

Data rules kept for six months as UK-EU negotiations continue

Brexit News Privacy UK

UK – The UK and the European Union have agreed to temporarily keep existing data transfer arrangements in place for up to six months while negotiations continue over a permanent adequacy solution.

Brexit negotiation chess_crop

The UK and EU agreed a Brexit deal on Christmas Eve, with the deal coming into force on 31st December. However, data transfer arrangements are one of several issues that are still being negotiated by both sides.

A data adequacy solution covers the data protection and transfer rules in the EU and third-party countries, and determines whether a particular country or territory has an adequate data protection regime in place.

The temporary solution agreed between the EU and UK means all current measures will stay in place until 1st July 2021 at the latest.

Both the Market Research Society (MRS) and the Advertising Association (AA) have advised members to take precautions in case an agreement on data adequacy is not reached.

This advice includes having alternative data transfer mechanisms in place, such as standard contractual clauses (SCCs), to ensure there is no disruption to the flow of data between the UK and the EU.

Jane Frost, chief executive of MRS, said: “As we predicted, the EU-UK trade deal does not include a decision on data adequacy for the UK.

“Until an agreement has been reached, MRS continues to recommend that businesses consider putting alternative transfer mechanisms in place (for example, SCCs) to safeguard against any disruption in the flow of EU data to the UK.”

The MRS issued guidance on Brexit’s impact on the market research industry before Christmas, which is available here.

Stephen Woodford, chief executive of the Advertising Association, said: “There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the future relationship on services, which are key to the success of our economy and make up the largest proportion of UK exports.

“The hard work of navigating these new arrangements in the midst of a global pandemic starts now, with many questions still to be resolved.”

Other impacts from the Brexit deal include the UK no longer benefitting from country of origin rules under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, meaning that advertisers will be subject to host nation rules if they do not have an EU licence.