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Brexit: What happens now?

10/03/2020

We have entered the transition period for Brexit which will last until the end of 2020, a time in which the UK Government and the EU can negotiate our new relationship.

What happens now?

For now, the UK is following the same rules and laws as before, including GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. The government will be merging the GDPR act into our current Data Protection Act by the end of the transition, so theoretically nothing should change in this respect. However, if your business operates in Europe or sell goods or services in the EU, then the EU version of GDPR, as opposed to only the UK's Data Protection Act, may still apply to you after the transition period.

Social Media

Since the UK will not be under EU rules, this means new and improved regulations around social media could be imposed. One of the laws that has stopped the UK from making changes to social media rules is the European e-Commerce directive. This upholds that online services are not liable for any illegal content that appears on their website if they are unaware of it and remove it as quickly as possible once discovered. Moving forward, it is likely the UK government will move to hold social media companies to greater account for content on their services that is either illegal or damaging to health, in an effort to help protect children and wider society.

Google

Google has warned it would be moving the data of British Google accounts from the EU, to the US following Brexit. This would remove data from the protection it currently exists under with EU regulations. How this data is handled after it has been moved to the US will largely depend on which aspects of GDPR are amalgamated into the UK's Data Protection Act once negotiations are complete. The US has some of the weakest privacy measures in place for a major economy, so keeping the UK's strong GDPR-type regulations in place would help protect our privacy greatly.

Cookies

We recently wrote about cookies and how the EU directive to always ask for consent was successful. It is unlikely any to cookie policy will change due to the fact it has already been written into UK law in the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

In summary, it will be interesting to see how Brexit impacts the UK's digital sectors as the situation develops throughout 2020, but at present, the majority of regulations are expected to stay the same or remain similar.

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