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Proposals submitted to States to ensure free-flow of personal data continues between Bailiwick and UK

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Monday 09 November 2020

The Committee for Home Affairs is asking the States to support plans that will ensure the continued free-flow of personal data between the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the UK after the end of this year.

A policy letter was published today requesting the approval of a draft Ordinance - 'The Data Protection (Authorised Jurisdiction) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020'.

Approval of the draft Ordinance will ensure that the status quo regarding the continued free-flow of personal data between the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the UK is maintained until the end of 2021 in the event that the UK does not receive a data protection adequacy decision by 31st December 2020.

The current legislation was approved by the States of Deliberation in January 2019 and designated the UK as an "authorised jurisdiction" for a specified time period. This ensured that the free-flow of personal data between the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the UK was maintained in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The Ordinance will expire at the end of 2020, the date at which the UK was expecting to have received confirmation of its own adequacy from the European Commission.

'Adequacy' enables third countries to apply to the European Commission for recognition that their own data protection regime provides protection of personal data that is 'essentially equivalent' to that found within the EU. It means personal data can be transferred to that third country without the requirement for any additional safeguards as specified within the General Data Protection Regulation ("the GDPR").

Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, said:

'While the UK is still expecting to receive an adequacy decision by the end of 2020, there is a real risk that this timeframe will not be achieved. If this were to be the case, the Bailiwick of Guernsey would be left in a position where the sharing of personal data with the UK would be unlawful and technically would have to stop.

'In order to avoid this and to maintain the free flow of personal data to the UK, we must be prepared with alternate provisions. As such, we are asking the States to approve a new Ordinance in order to extend the "sunset clause" for data sharing with the United Kingdom.

'If approved, this Ordinance would ensure that the UK continues to be designated as an "authorised jurisdiction" until 31st December 2021.'

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