ICO wants a strong international presence regardless of Brexit

The ICO has issued an international strategy which underlines its aim to retain a strong working relationship with its EU counterparts, as well as form new relationships and learn from other DPAs internationally. The ICO says that it will continue to work as a full member of the EU Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, and as part of the new European Data Protection Board (EDPB), until the UK exits from the EU.

“Recognising that our role may be in shaped by the Brexit negotiations, we will seek to maintain a strong working relationship with the EDPB when the UK exits the EU. We will also seek to strengthen bilateral relationships with individual EU data protection authorities where appropriate,” the ICO says.

The ICO plans to engage with the Council of Europe in order to explore the role of Convention 108 as a data protection standard.

Regarding enforcement, the ICO will continue to ‘play a leading role in joined up, efficient and effective international enforcement co-operation mechanisms that can lead to better enforcement of data protection compliance in the UK’.

The other Brexit-orientated preparations include advising the government on international data flows, and exploring the idea of the UK becoming a global data protection gateway - effectively interoperable with different legal systems.

The International Strategy for 2017-2021 was announced at Privacy Laws & Business’s 30th Anniversary International Conference in Cambridge by Elizabeth Denham, on 4 July and published on the same day. See https://ico.org.uk/media/about-the-ico/documents/2014356/international-strategy-03.pdf