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What Is The Status Of Personal Data Transfers Between the EU and the UK?

Written by: Richard Sheinis, Esq.

On December 24, 2020, the EU-UK Trade Cooperation Agreement was announced.  This Agreement contained an adequacy “bridge” so that the EU will treat the UK as an adequate jurisdiction for purposes of the protection of personal data for up to 6 months.  During this period, the EU is to assess whether the UK qualifies for adequacy status so as to allow for the lawful transfer of personal data from the EU to the UK.

At the current time, an adequacy decision has not been announced.  If an adequacy decision is not made by June 1, 2021, businesses will have to rely on an alternative mechanism to allow the transfer of personal data from the EU to the UK.  While the GDPR has been retained under UK law, and has been renamed the UK GDPR, an adequacy decision has not been a simple matter.  While one would hope that the European Commission would issue such an adequacy decision, especially since the UK was “adequate” as a member of the EU, nothing ever seems to be easy when it comes to personal data.  As we get closer to the end of the bridge, it might be wise to begin looking at alternative mechanisms, such as standard contractual clauses, for the legal transfer of personal data from the EU to the UK.