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Look carefully at future EU digital laws post-Brexit

14 February 2017

The European Scrutiny Committee report on two future documents from the European Commission highlight some digitally-related complications that British citizens and businesses may face post-Brexit.

Concerns over future of data protection laws

The Proposed Regulation on data protection rules, for example, brings into focus the significance of how EU institutions might handle the personal data of people within Great Britain. UK citizens might have to submit even more data than at present to EU bodies to acquire authorisation to travel, work or provide services in the EU.

Secondly, the Proposed Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications presents uncertainty for the UK in terms of  protections applied to sensitive personal or commercial information contained in e-comms or related metadata.

What EU data protection laws should be retained post-Brexit?

The content of electronic communications (e-comms) may reveal sensitive information about the individuals involved in the communication, from personal experience to medical conditions, sexual preferences, religious and political views. Disclosure could result in personal and social harm, even economic loss.

The Committee is concerned that the UK will have to consider what, if any, EU data protection law it wishes to retain in the longer term as UK law. Also the Committee is asking the government to consider if there are any adverse consequences that might arise in terms of the level of legal protections provided to UK citizens or burdens imposed on UK business who do future work with EU countries.

Full details of the documents and the opt in deadlines can be found in the Committee's Thirty-first report.

This also contains a meeting summary covering other Brexit related issues.

Further information

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