The government has outlined new arrangements for the protection and exchange of personal data between the UK and the EU once Britain has left the bloc in 2019.
A ‘unique approach’ to data protection and data sharing between the UK and the EU has been put forward by the government, which will help to ensure ongoing competitiveness, job creation and innovation.
The approach would reflect the ‘unprecedented alignment’ between British and European law, and will put into place ‘high data protection standards’ at the point when the UK leaves the EU.
A new UK-EU model for exchanging and protecting personal data has been put forward by the government, which will permit information to continue to be exchanged in a ‘safe and regulated way’, and continue to protect individuals’ privacy. The government stated that the model won’t impose ‘unnecessary additional costs to business’.
Commenting on the approach, Matt Hancock, Minister for Digital, said: ‘The UK is leading the way on modern data protection laws and we have worked closely with our EU partners to develop world leading data protection standards.’
However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that small firms require support to ensure that they are ready for new data protection rules. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to come into effect in May 2018, and will require businesses to safeguard the collection, storage and usage of their clients’ personal data.
Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: ‘We know that many small businesses have concerns about the incoming GDPR and many are simply unaware of the scope of the changes. There is a clear and present danger that companies could inadvertently face a fine if action is not taken to provide support and guidance to help them properly prepare for data protection changes.’