UK Signs Its First Data Sharing Deal Post-Brexit, With This Country

Six years after the referendum where the United Kingdom chose to leave the EU, the country has shared details about its first international data-sharing deal. The UK has signed an agreement with South Korea to allow organizations in the UK to transfer data to the Republic of Korea and vice versa, without any restrictions.

Data transfers cover all digital services that might be provisioned in one country but used or run in another country. It covers data in services like smart devices, GPS, research internet services, online banking, and more.

South Korea is the home to two of the world's biggest mobile tech companies, LG, and Samsung. The UK said it represents £1.33 billion or US$ 1.6 billion in international digital trade.

UK Data Minister Julia Lopez said this in a statement "Today marks a huge milestone for the UK, the Republic of Korea, and the high standards of data protection we share. Our new agreement will open up more digital trade to boost UK businesses and will enable more vital research that can improve the lives of people across the country."

Jong in Yoon, Republic of Korea Commissioner of the Personal Information Protection Commission, stated, "I am honored to agree to this joint statement today. Strengthening cooperation between the UK and the Republic of Korea based on the shared recognition of high standards of protection can contribute to forming a healthier and more sustainable global data landscape."

Microsoft, Mastercard, and Google were among the outside experts that advised the UK government regarding this deal as part of the International Data Transfer Expert Council that was formed earlier in 2022. The government argues that data transfers and regulations built around them have led to "billions of pounds" of trade going "unrealized."

The UK's Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport is responsible for overseeing the deal. It said that the idea would be that companies and organizations doing business across South Korea and the UK will be "able to share data freely and maintain high protection standards."

As the basics of the country's respective data usage policies have theoretically been vetted and harmonized, the parties involved will no longer have to deal with contractural safeguards like paperwork for International Data Transfer Agreements or Binding Corporate Rules.

If the UK was still a part of the EU, this deal might not have been required as South Korea already has such a deal with the EU.

This deal between the UK and South Korea is not fully done as of now. It's just in principle. So, it's still not proven that Brexit will lead to less red tape for the UK in the future when it comes to signing and implementing trade deals.

Ensuring the deals are done with the rest of the priority list will be a start. According to an estimate by the DCMS, "data-enabled services," which includes the US, are currently worth over £80 billion.




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