Brexit means data headaches and business uncertainty, say IT pros and lawyers

This article was first written in April 2016 with a post-EU referendum update on 24 June 2016.

Computerworld UK casts an eye at the business IT pitfalls likely to stem from Brexit-driven isolation from the European Union.

Nicola Fulford, Head of Data Protection at Kemp Little said:

"Immediately, there will be no change to obligations as the Data Protection Act 1998 is a UK statute. In general terms, a weakening of data protection laws is unlikely given the general direction of much of the rest of the world towards greater levels of data privacy. More specifically, on leaving the EU – likely in the next 2 years - the UK would have to apply for an ‘adequacy’ decision to keep flows of data moving freely from EU countries, and therefore to continue trading in the digital world.

"In less than 2 years, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in the EU – even if the UK has already left the EU by that stage. The UK’s laws would have to match those higher standards of the GDPR, in order either to obtain and maintain an ‘adequacy’ decision, or to join the European Free Trade Association; an there will in any case be direct compliance obligations under the GDPR for those entities with EU customers. It is therefore unlikely that, either in the short, medium or long term, Brexit will result in a material departure of UK law and practice from EU law in relation to the use and protection of personal data," she added.

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