Po­lice and se­cu­rity agen­cies could face hit on data-shar­ing

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - JobFinder - BY DAVID HUGHES

BREXIT could dam­age the abil­ity of po­lice and se­cu­rity agen­cies to share in­for­ma­tion with Euro­pean Union coun­ter­parts un­less tran­si­tional ar­range­ments are put in place, peers have warned.

Pri­vate firms, par­tic­u­larly in the ser­vices in­dus­try vi­tal to the UK econ­omy, will also be hit if there is a “cliff edge” when the UK leaves the EU’S data pro­tec­tion ar­range­ments.

A cross-party House of Lords com­mit­tee re­port hit out at the “lack of de­tail” from the Govern­ment on how it plans to en­sure that data trans­fers can con­tinue be­tween the UK and EU af­ter Brexit.

The EU Home Af­fairs sub-com­mit­tee said the UK should seek to en­sure that the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion agrees an ad­e­quacy ar­range­ment.

An ad­e­quacy agree­ment would cer­tify that the UK’S data pro­tec­tion is in line with that set by Brus­sels, al­low­ing data trans­fers to con­tinue.

But as such an agree­ment can only be signed with a third coun­try, both sides will need to agree a tran­si­tional sys­tem to bridge the gap un­til a UK-EU deal can be reached af­ter Brexit, or face the con­se­quences of be­ing un­able to share in­for­ma­tion in the same way.

The re­port from the peers warned: “In the ab­sence of such tran­si­tional ar­range­ments, the lack of tried and tested fall­back op­tions for data-shar­ing in the area of law en­force­ment would raise con­cerns about the UK’S abil­ity to main­tain deep po­lice and se­cu­rity co­op­er­a­tion with the EU and its Mem­ber States in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of Brexit.”

There would also be a com­mer­cial im­pact from the “cliff edge” sce­nario of leav­ing the EU without tran­si­tional ar­range­ments and sub­se­quent ad­e­quacy agree­ment.

“Our anal­y­sis sug­gests the stakes are high, not least be­cause any post-brexit ar­range­ment that re­sults in greater fric­tion around data trans­fers be­tween the UK and the EU could present a non-tar­iff trade bar­rier, putting the UK at a com­pet­i­tive dis­ad­van­tage,” the re­port said.

The peers noted the Govern­ment’s aim of main­tain­ing “un­hin­dered” data flows with the EU af­ter Brexit could re­quire the UK to con­tinue to align its data pro­tec­tion rules with those set in Brus­sels, which it no longer has a say over.

For­mer diplo­mat Lord Jay, the com­mit­tee’s chair­man, said: “The vol­ume of data stored elec­tron­i­cally and mov­ing across borders has grown hugely over the last 20 years. Be­tween 2005 and 2012 alone, in­ter­net traf­fic across borders in­creased 18-fold.

“The main­te­nance of un­hin­dered data flows is there­fore cru­cial, both for busi­ness and for ef­fec­tive po­lice co­op­er­a­tion.

“The com­mit­tee was con­cerned by the lack of de­tail on how the Govern­ment plans to main­tain un­hin­dered data flows post-brexit. It was con­cerned, too, by the risk that EU and UK data pro­tec­tion rules could di­verge over time when the UK has left the EU.

“To avoid this, the com­mit­tee urges the Govern­ment to se­cure a con­tin­u­ing role for the In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner’s Of­fice on the Euro­pean Data Pro­tec­tion Board”.

The main­te­nance of un­hin­dered data flows is cru­cial, for busi­ness and for the po­lice

Warn­ing: Lord Jay

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.