According to WIRED Magazine, the UK’s data protection watchdog has three years to convince the government to adopt and enact the EU laws it is set to break away from.
On October 2nd, prime minister Theresa May revealed that she planned to trigger Article 50 by March 2017, and thus set in motion the UK’s departure from the EU.
The EU has for years been debating and finalising laws that it says will bring European privacy protections up to date with technological progress. The resulting regulation and directive came into force in May, to be applied by individual member states by May 2018, and is designed to help cement the EU’s Digital Single Market Strategy. As part of both EU privacy and human rights laws the regulation, the EU says, “is an essential step to strengthen citizens’ fundamental rights in the digital age”. Come summer 2019, however, the date by which May promises to have exited the union, UK citizens will not have these safeguards in place.
There is a chance however, that EU law will be transported into UK law, however. May also announced that a Great Repeal Bill would make up part of the next Queen’s Speech and will allow for a reversal of the European Communities Act 1972, the law that allows EU legislation to become British. The Bill will enact all EU laws into UK law – however, Parliament will be able to “amend or cancel” any law, reports the BBC.
Liat Clark reports, Europe’s data protection regulation is vast and thorough, designed to not only protect individuals’ privacy rights but ensure that businesses are not faced with multiple costly legal cases as a result of multiple strands of legislation, both national and European.
Companies to disclose data breaches within 72 hours of them being discovered
Among the protections the regulation affords EU citizens is a compulsory rule forcing companies to disclose data breaches within 72 hours of them being discovered. This is incredibly pertinent, considering it was just revealed that Yahoo took the better part of two years to disclose one of the biggest customer security breaches on record.
What will the Great Repeal Bill mean for UK citizens?
The Great Repeal Bill will allow for UK legislators to pick and choose which European Laws the UK has to follow. In the case of data protection, EU courts will no longer have jurisdiction over UK matters of Human Rights.
When will it happen?
The legislation will be introduced in the next parliamentary session, which starts with the Queen’s speech next May. It would need to be ready by the day the UK leaves the EU, which is now likely to be before March 2019.
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