BRUSSELS, Feb 19 (Reuters) – The European Commission said onFriday Britain’s data protection laws were in line with theEuropean Union’s despite Brexit and it would start a process toallow a continued flow of police and financial data from the EUto Britain for the next 4 years.
Financial data flows are crucial for businesses and policeand intelligence services on both sides to be able to exchangerecords, even though EU data protection laws no longer bindBritain after it left the bloc last year.
But London had already incorporated the EU regulations intoits own laws on personal data protection and the EU would nowonly check again in four years to see if they had not divergedfrom the EU during that time before another extension.
“Ensuring free and safe flow of personal data is crucial forbusinesses and citizens on both sides of the Channel. The UK hasleft the EU, but not the European privacy family,” CommissionVice President for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova said.
“At the same time, we should ensure that our decision willstand the test of time. This is why we included clear and strictmechanisms in terms of both monitoring and review, suspension orwithdrawal of such decisions, to address any problematicdevelopment of the UK system after the adequacy would begranted,” she said.
Before the EU formally grants the adequacy status to Britishlaws, it still needs to consult its European Data ProtectionBoard and get a green light from a committee composed ofrepresentatives of EU governments.
This should be completed before the end of June, when aninterim arrangement for data flows after Brexit ends.(Reporting by Jan StrupczewskiEditing by John Chalmers)