Tuesday

22nd Jan 2019

UK to 'align' with EU on data protection

  • As of next year, EU citizens will have a range of rights concerning their personal data online. The UK is set to announce that it wants to 'align' data protection rules. (Photo: Sebastiaan ter Burg)

The United Kingdom will propose in a position paper on Thursday (24 August) to maintain a “strong future data relationship” with the European Union after exiting the bloc.

“In the modern world, data flows increasingly underpin trade, business and all relationships,” digital minister Matt Hancock said in a statement released to UK media.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

“We want the secure flow of data to be unhindered in the future as we leave the EU. … So a strong future data relationship between the UK and EU, based on aligned data protection rules, is in our mutual interest,” the statement added.

It is not expected that the UK leaves long before the end of the two-year exit negotiation period, which expires in March 2019, as set out by the EU treaties.

This means that a new far-reaching EU bill on data protection will apply directly in the UK for at least ten months anyway.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply as of 25 May 2018 across the bloc, and will replace data rules from 1995, which are considered outdated.

The GDPR includes many novel rights for EU citizens, such as the right to have online information rectified and the right to be informed if your data has been processed.

EU citizens will also have the right to move their data from one service provider to another, although much remains unclear about how this prospect of data portability will work in practice.

The GDPR also solidifies a concept that was first granted to citizens by the Court of Justice of the EU - the so-called right to be forgotten.

EUobserver found earlier this year that the right to be forgotten was particularly popular among UK citizens.

Earlier this month, the UK government proposed a bill that would make it easier for consumers to have photos and other personal data removed from online services such as Facebook and Google.

If the UK wants to remain aligned with EU data laws, the country would also have to continue to implement upcoming rules on cybersecurity.

The directive on security of network and information systems has to be transposed into national law by 9 May 2018, and includes an obligation for companies to report when they have been hacked.

Meanwhile, the EU is planning to go even further. Over the past two years, it proposed dozens of initiatives and rules that would move the bloc closer to a digital single market.

The UK and the European Commission, which acts on behalf of the remaining 27 member states, will continue their formal Brexit talks next week in Brussels.

Focus

New EU right to data portability to cause headaches

Next year, companies will be required to move personal data to competitors if consumers decide to switch. Yet one year before the new rules go into force, a lot is still unclear.

26 EU states not ready for data law

The European Commission on Wednesday said only Austria and Germany have passed the relevant draft laws needed to ensure the launch of the EU's general data protection regulation on 25 May:

Focus

EU takes step towards free flow of data

Non-personal data should be allowed to cross EU borders without restrictions, with an exemption for security reasons, diplomats meeting in the Council of the EU have agreed.

News in Brief

  1. EU hits Mastercard with €570m fine
  2. Romanian minister prepares to cancel corruption cases
  3. Sefcovic: no gas supply problems this winter
  4. Report: Commission warning on passport-sale schemes
  5. France summons Italian ambassador over colonial remark
  6. May U-turn on fee for EU nationals in UK
  7. French data watchdog gives Google €50m fine
  8. EU hits Russians with sanctions over Salisbury attack

Opinion

Lost in Brexit chaos - abortion rights in Northern Ireland

Labour MP Diana Johnson has brought a private members bill to Westminster that proposes to decriminalise abortion in the whole of the UK, which means that, if successfully passed, current provisions for Northern Ireland will also be repealed.

May on whistle-stop EU tour to seek new backstop pledges

The British prime minister dramatically delayed a parliamentary vote on the Brexit deal at the last minute, as she faced defeat. Theresa May will now speed-tour EU capitals to try to secure further political guarantees.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. France and Germany hope to revive EU with Aachen treaty
  2. May pushes defeated Brexit deal, offers no Plan B
  3. European Parliament targets 'fake' political groups
  4. What is fate of non-euro EU states after Brexit?
  5. Turkish NBA star takes on Erdogan
  6. 'Meme ban' still on table in EU copyright bill, says MEP
  7. Brexit power grab by MPs hangs over May's 'Plan B'
  8. Polish mayor's funeral marred by Tusk TV dispute

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us