GDPR in 2021: Data Protection after the end of the transition period

GDPR post brexit

As the transition period for the UK to leave the EU has now ended, there are some important changes to the UK’s data protection guidance SMEs should look out for.

As a small business in the UK you may need to:

  • Review your privacy notice to reflect changes to international transfers,
  • Review references to your lawful bases or conditions for processing if any refer to ‘Union law’ or other terminology changed in the UK GDPR, and
  • Identify your EU representative (if you are required to have one)

Does GDPR still apply in the UK?

The EU GDPR is an EU Regulation and as of 1st January 2021, it no longer applies to the UK. However, if your business operates inside the UK, you will need to comply with UK data protection law. The GDPR has been incorporated into UK data protection law as the UK GDPR – so in practice there is little change to the core data protection principles, rights and obligations found in the UK GDPR.

What is the UK data protection law now the Brexit transition period has ended?

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) continues to apply, this will not change with Brexit as GDPR will be incorporated directly into UK law at the end of the transition period. The UK GDPR sits alongside the DPA 2018 with some technical amendments so that it works in a UK-only context.

What effect does the trade deal have on data protection?

As part of the new trade deal, the EU has agreed to delay transfer restrictions for at least another four months, which can be extended to six months, known as ‘the bridge’. This enables personal data to flow freely from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK until either adequacy decisions are adopted, or the bridge ends.

How do I check the changes in data protection for my business?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have useful checklist tool for UK sole traders and other small business owners to understand whether the end of the transition period affects you, and find out what you need to do.

Click here to find out more about the ICO’s SMEs checklist tool.

Here For You

We urge all small businesses owners to focus on the practical steps they can and should be doing as the UK leaves the EU. You can read more in the TBL Guide to Preparing for Brexit here. 

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