London Intellectual Property partner Huw Beverley-Smith spoke with The Independent about the European Court of Justice’s ruling that the "Privacy Shield" – an agreement between the European Union and the United States that allows companies to transfer data between the regions – is invalid. According to the publication, the ruling means that Europeans' data will need to have the same privacy protection in the US as in the EU.
Beverley-Smith told The Independent that "The CJEU's invalidation of Privacy Shield binds the UK under the terms of the EU Withdrawal Agreement. So the UK cannot do its own thing. After the end of the Transition Period, the UK and the US could agree [on] a new Privacy Shield framework on broadly similar lines. However, it is questionable how this would play publicly if there were no substantive changes or new safeguards included in a UK-US mechanism."
"Also, the practical value of a new UK-US framework would have inherent limits since it would not be able to be used in respect of personal data originating from the EU (unless approved by the EU Commission). This reflects the practical realities that many businesses will face in separating UK and EU data flows to the rest of the world. For logistical reasons, the same legal and security arrangements may need to be applied to data originating from Europe. From that point of view, it will be difficult for the UK Government to stand alone," he added.