Privateness activists crowd on EU-UK knowledge movement deal

The ink is barely dry in Brussels’ settlement on preliminary knowledge flows with the UK, however activists are already urging officers to launch Tipp-Ex.

In submissions to the European Fee and EU knowledge safety regulators, UK nonprofit Open Rights Group has demanded stricter privateness requirements for immigrants as a part of life safety personal sector earlier than the information movement settlement was finalized.

“Now we have at all times feared that the immigration exemption could be a brutal instrument,” mentioned Matthew Rice of the ORG. He was referring to an exception in UK knowledge safety regulation that waives rights for sure circumstances involving immigrant knowledge.

“We’re elevating these points with the European Fee and the European Information Safety Board to demand the removing of the exemption or, on the very least, to current clear modifications that have to be made,” Rice mentioned.

The European Fee gave its preliminary approval to UK knowledge safety requirements, in a so-called adequacy choice, in mid-February. The approval should now be reviewed by European knowledge safety regulators and obtain approval from nationwide capitals earlier than cross-Channel knowledge flows are assured. (The guarantee lasts for 4 years earlier than the method must be repeated).

In keeping with an ORG research seen by POLITICO, the UK authorities used the immigration exemption to disclaim knowledge entry requests seven out of 10 occasions in 2020. The nonprofit additionally discovered that the variety of appeals towards the usage of the exemption was minimal in comparison with the variety of knowledge requests made – choices have been appealed 3 times prior to now two years, up from 20,000 requests in 2020 alone.

For Rice, the big disparity between the variety of appeals and requests means that the exemption “is getting used with out correct safeguards,” comparable to notification to the person. “The excessive variety of requests in comparison with the small variety of appeals ought to be investigated,” he mentioned.

As an indication that the EU govt will battle to persuade skeptics that it was proper to present the inexperienced gentle to the UK knowledge regime, UK lecturers immediately additionally revealed an article criticizing the deal.

In a weblog publish on Wednesday, Lecturers Ian Brown and Douwe Korff mentioned the adequacy choice could lead on the UK to grow to be a “data-escape haven”, performing as a funnel for EU knowledge to be despatched to nations with decrease requirements.

Feedback from UK Secretary of State for Digital Oliver Dowden within the Monetary Instances earlier this week is not going to have achieved a lot to allay these considerations.

The UK might now be “extra nimble” than the EU at reaching worldwide knowledge offers, he mentioned, permitting it to “capitalize on a multibillion pound alternative to spice up commerce in areas the place bodily distance shouldn’t be an issue “.

“It could be a severe mistake on the a part of EU member states … to endorse this choice, permitting private knowledge to movement freely from nations within the European Financial Space to the UK,” it reads within the lecturers weblog.

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