UK adequacy decisions – lukewarm thumbs-up from the EDPB

15/04/21 – If you’ve been following the progress of the UK adequacy decisions (see updates from December 2020 and March 2021), you will know that we have been waiting for the European Data Protection Board’s opinions on the draft UK adequacy decisions.  As per the EDPB’s press release yesterday, these opinions have now been adopted.

Although the full texts are not yet available, the press release suggests that the EDPB’s opinions broadly supports the adequacy decisions, noting that the UK has “for the most part” mirrored the GDPR and the Law Enforcement Directive in its data protection framework, and that as a result many aspects of the UK’s law and practice are “essentially equivalent”.

However, the EDPB also emphasises that the alignment of the EU and UK data protection frameworks must be maintained going forward, and welcomes the European Commission’s decision to limit the duration of the adequacy decisions (to 4 years).  The EDPB also urges the Commission to closely monitor how the UK applies restrictions to onward transfers of EEA personal data, including transfers pursuant to adequacy decisions adopted by the UK, international agreements concluded between the UK and third countries, or derogations.

Next step is for the adequacy decisions to be approved by representatives of all 27 EU member states via the so-called ‘comitology procedure’, following which they can be adopted by the Commission.  I will keep you posted.

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