Data Protection - RightsInfo

Brexit And Human Rights

Ever since the UK voted to leave the European Union in June 2016 there’s been an intense discussion about what this could mean for our rights. Here’s everything we know so far.

We’ll be updating this page as new developments break

So, What's The Issue In A Nutshell?

If you’re reading this now, you should probably be concerned about data protection. As our world moves increasingly online and to gadgets, there are huge questions about how to protect the vast amount of personal data which companies can get their hands on. Currently, a large part of the protections surrounding this come from EU Law, both from the EU Charter and specific legislation. There are concerns that after we leave, these protections could drop away.

Right, What Is The UK Saying About It?

Once again, this isn’t an issue with one clear stance from the UK. The Government has promised to move all EU laws over to British ones at the moment we leave the bloc, but this will give Parliament the chance to decide later if they want to keep them or not. The Information Commissioner has spoken out, saying: “Brexit shouldn’t mean Brexit when it comes to data protection.” The Government has also tried to quell fears with a New Data Protection Bill, which many have seen to be a rehash of EU regulations.

And The EU? What Do They Think?

The EU obviously won’t have a say on any laws that the UK decides to quash or write after Brexit, but it is worth mentioning that the bloc had just approved plans for strengthened data protection laws. The GDPR has been passed, but won’t become enforceable until May 2018. While it’s up to the UK if it keeps the new set of EU laws when it leaves, not complying with the same standard could cause for problems for businesses in Britain who have customers in Europe.

Where Have We Got To So Far?

The main thing here is making sure there’s a continuation of legislation. With the GDPR due to come into force next year, businesses are keen for it not to be ditched as soon as we leave the EU a year later. Many have seen the new Data Protection Bill as a carbon copy of the new European rules, so people know where they stand. However, the full details of the bill have yet to be released, so it’s important to look out our rights don’t end up being brushed away.