A group of experts combining the world’s leading academics and digital industry figures, including Google, Mastercard and Microsoft, will meet for the first time today to help Britain seize the opportunities of better global data sharing.
It comes as part of The International Data Transfer Expert Council launch, which looks to provide independent advice to the government to help it achieve its mission of unlocking the benefits of free and secure cross-border data flows now the country has left the EU.
There are a range of mechanisms under current UK data protection law which organisations can use to transfer personal data to other countries, including standard contractual clauses and binding corporate rules. The council will give advice on the development of new international data transfer tools and mechanisms and securing new data adequacy partnerships with other countries.
Following Brexit, the government intends to strike deals on personal data transfers with some of its key trading partners around the world. Personal data relates to an identified or identifiable individual and includes secure transfer of information on things such as ethnic origin and IP address.
The government has outlined the first countries with which it will prioritise striking data adequacy partnerships to ensure the data protection standards in the country data is being transferred to mirror the UK’s. The current priorities include the United States, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the Dubai International Finance Centre and Colombia. Securing new data transfer agreements will build significantly on the annual £83bn of data-enabled UK service exports.
Experts on the council have been selected from civil society, academia and industry around the world. Their experiences cover a range of areas including patient healthcare, scientific research, artificial intelligence and finance.
During its first meeting today, the council will discuss the global opportunities and challenges for international transfers and how the UK can be a global leader in removing barriers to cross-border data flows. This will enable smoother and more straightforward transfers without the need for costly and often complicated contracts.
Data Minister Julia Lopez said: “Realising the benefits of international data flows has never been more important. We want the UK to drive forward cutting-edge policies at home and overseas to ensure people, businesses and economies benefit from safe and secure data flows.”