The UK’s technology trade association has praised the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for taking a strong stance on data flows and prioritising the issue for when Britain leaves the European Union.
The ICO today published its International Strategy until 2021, which seeks to protect the personal information of UK citizens in today’s digital world and addresses some of the key challenges related to data protection.
And techUK has applauded the plans, saying the ICO “has a crucial role to play in providing expert advice to UK Government and EU bodies.”
The ICO’s strategy sets out four key initiatives, which focus on being an “influential data protection authority” in Europe both before and after Brexit and ensuring that the UK’s data protection laws are maintained at a high global standard.
The ICO also wants to maximise its relevance in a world that has seen the “rapid growth of online technologies” and address the legal uncertainties around international data flows across the EU.
In response, deputy techUK CEO Antony Walker welcomed the “ambitious” strategy which tackles some of the most serious issues ahead of next year’s Global Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
“The ICO is right to say that global data flows are central to the digital economy,” he said. “International data flows underpin our ability to trade in services and goods. Without an adequacy decision small businesses will be hit by significant costs, legal uncertainties and red tape that will hamper their ability to do business across the EU on equal terms.
“This is an issue that would negatively impact businesses in the UK and the EU27. Addressing data flows must be a priority for both the UK and the EU in the Brexit negotiations and techUK is pleased to see that the ICO is determined to play a supportive role.
“techUK looks forward to working with the ICO on this and many other important issues as good data use governance becomes ever more important for the UK economy.”
GDPR is undoubtedly going to be a challenge for businesses, so knowing that the ICO is taking steps to lead the world in data protection will be welcome news indeed.
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