Data protection laws will not change following Brexit vote

Despite the UK voting to leave the EU, the ICO said the data protection laws will still remain as tight as they are now

Although the UK has voted to leave the EU, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said data protection laws will not change, despite being set by the European Union.

However, it stated that new data protection laws due to be introduced by the EU would not apply to England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales if the UK leaves before they come into effect.

It explained that if the UK wants to trade with other countries in the EU, on equal terms, it would still have to provide 'adequacy', meaning any data protection standards we hold must be on par with those operating in the EU - specifically the GDPR.

"With so many businesses and services operating across borders, international consistency around data protection laws and rights is crucial both to businesses and organisations and to consumers and citizens. The ICO's role has always involved working closely with regulators in other countries, and that would continue to be the case.

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"Having clear laws with safeguards in place is more important than ever given the growing digital economy, and we will be speaking to government to present our view that reform of the UK law remains necessary."

Before the result of the referendum was announced, the ICO's group manager for business and industry, Garreth Cameron, explained he did not think a vote to leave the EU would affect the UK's strong data protection laws, although the government would have to be held accountable to ensure they adequately protect any trade.

"The UK has a very long history of data protection laws," he told delegates at the Data Security in the Cloud conference. "So whatever happens, I think we will have strong data protection laws... How they work exactly is down to government, but we will need to have those in place."

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