Temporary Brexit Terms Will Keep EU-U.K. Data Flowing

Companies won’t have to scramble to find alternative solutions to keep data flowing between the European Union and the U.K. post Brexit after negotiators agreed to a temporary solution that will keep the current rules in place for several months.

While EU officials have been working on a so-called adequacy decision, which would protect data transfers, they won’t be done by the time the transition period ends next week. To bridge that gap, the Brexit deal includes an interim solution for a maximum of six months, an EU official familiar with the talks said.

U.K. and European Union negotiators, are locked in talks in Brussels over the final details of a historic post-Brexit trade accord. The deal will formally complete Britain’s separation from the bloc four-and-a-half years after the 2016 referendum.

The data bridge will be limited in time and requires the U.K. to suspend its own data protection rules until the adequacy decision has been finalized, the official said on condition of anonymity, because the deal isn’t public yet.

The U.K. Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham warned companies earlier this week to find alternative workarounds in case there wasn’t a deal. The interim solution in the Brexit deal also protects companies from legal limbo and possible fines under the EU’s strict data privacy rules.

Work on an EU adequacy decision has taken longer than expected, partly because of a ruling by the European Court of Justice in July that demanded that data protection in third countries must be “essentially equivalent” to that in the bloc. The ruling forced EU data-protection regulators to adopt a much tougher approach to data transfers.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.