Concerns are growing that the UK will face a post-Brexit 'data wall' that will stymie the €272 billion of trade in Europe that relies on data flows.
EU negotiators sealed an agreement that will allow non-personal data to move freely across the bloc and ban national laws that require companies to store data within a country’s borders.
If the City of London’s financial district became famous for being the UK’s cash cow, the country's tech sector has become similarly valuable. Digital and tech accounts for 14.5% of all UK service exports, some £30bn in 2016. It is also one of the most vulnerable to a ‘hard Brexit’.
The EU took a step towards finalising a key piece of digital single market law on Wednesday (20 December) after EU diplomats agreed to scrap rules that require data to be stored only in a certain country.
Estonia wants to seal an agreement next week between member states that would allow data to move easily across the EU, a priority file that the Baltic country pushed for throughout its six-month role leading legal negotiations.
EU lawmakers should create a new, centralised data protection authority to oversee investigations of privacy breaches that affect more than member state in the bloc, Giovanni Buttarelli, the EU’s top privacy watchdog, said in an interview.
MEPs are exerting pressure on the European Commission to draw up rules on data flows in foreign trade agreements, an area where the EU executive has so far not pinned down any tangible policy.
Four countries - Germany, France, Italy and Spain - drafted a paper outlining their priorities ahead of last Friday’s (29 September) digital summit, where heads of state gathered in Estonia. Poland’s Digital Minister Krzysztof Szubert told EURACTIV.com their paper risks dividing EU member states on digital issues.
Jobs could be more secure and better paid because of the European Commission's new proposal to guarantee the free flow of data between EU countries, Andrus Ansip said in an interview.
The Privacy Shield agreement has already improved data protection and digital trade between the EU and the US in its first year, and that should continue, writes Victoria A. Espinel.