ICO says organisations must “prepare for all scenarios” to maintain data flows after Brexit

The Information Commissioners Office has urged workplaces to prepare for no-deal to ensure data flows aren’t disrupted

The ICO has urged workplaces to “prepare for all scenarios” as it publishes dedicated guidance to help small and medium sized workplaces prepare for the possibility that the UK leaves the European Union with no deal.

The guidance provides the same advice previously published on how to maintain data flows, but has been produced to be more relevant and accessible to smaller workplaces.

The sharing of personal data between EU member states and the UK is vital for business supply chains to function and public authorities to deliver effective public services.

At the moment personal data flow is unrestricted because the UK is an EU member state. In the event of ‘no deal’, EU law will require additional measures to be put in place when personal data is transferred from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK, in order to make them lawful.

The ICO’s guidance sets out steps to take to keep the information flowing such as using pre-approved contract terms, which are currently used to transfer personal information worldwide.

Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham said:

“It’s crucial that workplaces make sure they properly prepare for all scenarios. If your organisation sends or receives personal information to countries in the EU, this guidance will help you work out whether you need to take steps now and what you need to do to prepare.

“Even if you think your workplace doesn’t transfer data internationally, I’d urge you to read what we’ve produced, and assess whether you need to act.”

The ICO website offers a range of advice and guidance to help organisations prepare for the UK leaving the EU, including checklists and interactive tools.

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