iDS Director of International Data Privacy, Tom Matzen, Weighs in on Britain's Decision to Exit the EU Its Implications on Recent European Data Privacy Issues, Including the GDPR

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 - 15:20

Britain's vote to leave the EU should not cause panic amongst privacy professionals.  There will likely be years of negotiations between Britain and the EU involving a variety of trade deals and laws, so while the vote to leave is very significant, no one should lose their heads.

Going forward, if Britain wants to deal with the EU markets, which of course they will, they will now be subject to a data protection standard similarly adequate to that of the EU.  This move does not effect the GDPR at all.  Britain will mirror the US, meaning they will have to show their levels of data protection meet the EU standards.  A formal agreement is likely to document such an understanding.  

The possible future concern I see stems from language coming out of France, the Netherlands and Ireland.  If nationalistic voices like those in Britain make headway in these countries, and there are additional exits from the EU in the near future, that could cause greater turmoil.  That said, all of the EU countries, including Britain, have similar and agreed to data privacy and protection principles and standards, so even if they stand alone as countries rather than a union, they most likely would keep those in place, as it would eliminate spending time on negotiation in that area and allow the countries to address bigger trade issues.