How this affects your business will depend on several factors, including the nature of your business and where your customers are located. Data sharing with the EEA is one of the key areas to consider.
The Government has legislated so that UK firms can continue to lawfully send personal data from the UK to the EEA and 13 other countries that the EU has deemed to provide an adequate level of protection of personal data. They have also announced that the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for the continued free flow of personal data from the EU and EEA to the UK until adequacy decisions are adopted, for no longer than 6 months.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) states that the agreement between the UK and the EU enables businesses and public bodies across all sectors to continue to freely receive data from the EU (and EEA). However, as a sensible precaution, the ICO recommends that businesses work with EU and EEA organisations who transfer personal data to them, to put in place alternative transfer mechanisms to safeguard against any interruption to the free flow of EU to UK personal data.
This means that businesses and organisations can be confident in the free flow of personal data from 1 January, without having to make any immediate changes to their data protection practices however new rules will follow in due course.
The new rules will take some time to “bed in” and we will keep you updated on practical actions to take and as new rules or agreements are made between the UK and the EU.