A message from the Business Secretary: Take action now to ensure personal data flows freely from the EU/EEA to the UK

Please see the following statement from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

With just three weeks to go until the end of the transition period on 31 December, there is still time to prepare. You can find out what actions you may need to take by using the checker tool at gov.uk/transition

In this week’s letter, I want to focus on actions you should take to ensure personal data continues to flow freely from the EU/EEA to the UK.

Personal data is any information that can be used to identify a person, including names, delivery details, IP addresses, or HR data such as payroll details. Most organisations use personal data in their daily operations.
An example of this is a UK company that receives customer information from an EU company, such as names and addresses, to provide goods or services.

If you receive personal data from the EU/EEA, I urge you to act now to ensure you can continue to lawfully receive data from your clients in the EU from 1 January 2021, whatever the EU decides. Specifically, this means:

  • You should take stock of the personal data you process prior to 1 January 2021.
  • If you receive personal data from a company based in an EU/EEA country, you should map your data flows and put in place alternative transfer mechanisms, such as Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs), with any relevant EU organisations (the EU has yet to make a decision as to whether they accept that the UK’s data protection regime is still adequate).
  • Visit UK/using-personal-data-2021 for guidance on the actions your business or organisation needs to take regarding data protection and data flows.

Making changes now will ensure a smooth end to the transition period and see businesses ready to take advantage of the new legal and economic freedoms that being an independent trading nation will bring.

Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP
Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

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