Trade Agreements: USA

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd September 2020.

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Photo of Daniel Zeichner Daniel Zeichner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect on data adequacy negotiations with other trade partners of the agreement with the US on access to electronic data.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

It is our intention to secure positive adequacy decisions from the EU to allow personal data to continue to flow freely from the EU/EEA to the UK. We are seeking positive adequacy decisions under both the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Law Enforcement Directive (LED), before the end of the transition period.

We see the EU’s assessment process on data adequacy as technical and confirmatory of the reality that the UK is operating the same regulatory frameworks as the EU, and the UK considers it self-evidently in the interest of both sides to have adequacy decisions in place by the end of the year. No other third country's standards have ever been closer to the EU's.

The UK-US Data Access Agreement is a vital tool to facilitate law enforcement in the prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of serious crime. This world-leading agreement will deliver on the people’s priorities by dramatically speeding up investigations and prosecutions of terrorists, child abusers and other serious criminals and ensuring children are protected faster.The Agreement includes significant data protection and privacy safeguards and is compatible with UK and EU data protection legislation and, therefore, is consistent with the UK seeking a positive adequacy decision from the EU.

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