Infosec 2016: ICO – GDPR Not The Only Option If Brexit Happens

Infosec 2016: Information Commissioner’s Office could be happy with data regulations like Australia or New Zealand enforce if Britain leaves the EU

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has said that if Britain votes to leave the European Union, the GDPR is not the only data regulation policy that it could enforce.

Iain Bourne, policy manager at the ICO, told a keynote audience at Infosec 2016 that the ICO believes other data regulation policies around the world to be acceptable for citizens’ privacy.

“There are forms of data protection law that are much more attractive than GDPR internationally,” said Bourne.

“I think we need to remember that there are many countries all over the world, in places like Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Canada where there is a fully functioning data privacy law.

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“In many cases, the European Union and the European Commission would deem that adequate and [think] it would provide a satisfactory level of protection. So actually there are quite a lot of options. I don’t think it’s as straight forward that we’ll necessarily have absolutely 100 percent GDPR whatever happens during Brexit.”

shutterstock_397560250However, director of information security at Canon, Quentyn Taylor, said that if Britain votes to leave the EU on Thursday June 23 2016, it could have disastrous impacts on both British and multi-national businesses.

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Asked by the keynote panel’s moderator if he believes GDPR will have to be followed even if a Brexit scenario happens, Taylor said: “I think we’ll absolutely have to. We have data centres all over Europe and we have data transfers that happen across huge numbers of countries.

“That’s part of doing business. If we have to have a separate regulatory program here it will have huge impact for us a multinational. I think it will also have a huge impact on British businesses.”

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