Brexit. I think we can all agree that we have heard quite enough about it. However, believe it or not, Brexit will have an impact on your data, therefore, it is important that your business is as best prepared as it can be.
In order to fully prepare for Brexit you must be aware of the affects it will have on your data.
1. The GDPR will still apply to your business
As you will already know, rules surrounding the collection and use of personal data is set at an EU-level by the GDPR. The UK is required to adhere to these regulations. There will be no immediate change to the UK’s data protection standards. Therefore, the GDPR will still apply.
It is already a legal requirement that countries outside of the EU adhere to the rules for data that belongs within the union. Therefore, once the UK leaves they must still comply with the GDPR. A Canadian firm found this to their detriment when the ICO, served an Enforcement Notice and gave them 30 days to become compliant, and as we know there are several ramifications of failing to be compliant with the GDPR.
Last summer, the government laid out a series of technical notices. These advised on how to prepare for the event of a no deal Brexit. If we have no agreement, the Data Protection Act 2018 would remain in place. Plus the EU Withdrawal Act will incorporate the GDPR into UK law. All in all, whatever happens you must remain compliant.
2. Access to EU data centres will be restricted
Whilst the UK can currently transfer data within the EU without restrictions, once we leave there will be constraints. The legal framework governing personal data transfers will change on exit. The UK will be disconnected from EU databases after the transition period ends if no agreement is reached.
Securing an adequacy decision is possible, whereby the European Commission will assess the UK’s data protection measures. If the decision is declined, then the government advises that businesses should consider assisting their EU partners with identifying a legal basis for the transfer of personal data.
How to Prepare Your Data
According to the latest Royal Mail Data Services Insight Report, 9,590 households move and 1,500 people die on a daily basis. In addition, the UK is home to around 3.7 million people who are citizens of another EU country. Can you truly guarantee that none of these people are present in your database? Do you know for a fact that none of your customers have moved house or have passed away? If in doubt it is best to clean your company data before Brexit takes place.
Data cleansing will help your business become compliant as well as more efficient by consolidating your database to achieve a single customer view. Data becomes duplicated over time due to natural decay, not to mention the various touch points that your customers have with your business. A data cleansing solution will merge all of your disparate data into one standard format before deduplicating to eradicate any duplicate records. It will also match the remaining data against a series of suppression files to verify and remove any deceased persons and movers.
Whilst no one knows exactly what Brexit will mean for our businesses, one thing we know for certain is that your data needs will remain as crucial as ever. Make sure your data is prepared and compliant with current legislation before it’s too late.
, updated 22nd February 2023.