Losing EU data adequacy would not be a ‘complete disaster’ for UK

25/04/2023 | Pinsent Masons

On Friday, 21 April, the UK Prime Minister's Office confirmed the King had approved a number of ministerial appointments. Included on the list is the temporary appointment of Sir John Whittingdale as Minister of State for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) while Michelle Donelan takes maternity leave. 

Reporting on the appointment, Pinsent Masons highlights comments Whittingdale made during the second reading of the Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill (DPDIB), in which he said, “There is an advantage in the UK’s retaining data adequacy with the EU. It was not taken for granted that we would get data adequacy. A lengthy negotiation with the EU took place before a data adequacy agreement was reached. As part of that process, officials rightly looked at what alternative there would be, should we not be granted data adequacy. It became clear that there are ways around it.” 

“Standard contractual clauses and alternative transfer mechanisms would allow companies to continue to exchange data. It would be a little more complicated. They would need to write the clauses into contracts. For that reason, there was clearly a value in having a general data adequacy agreement, but one should not think that the loss of data adequacy would be a complete disaster because, as I say, there are ways around it.”

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