(Pictured right): UK Data Minister Julia Lopez MP.

UK finalises “landmark” data decision with South Korea to help unlock millions in economic growth

UK organisations will be able to share personal data securely with the Republic of Korea before the end of the year as the UK finalises legislation for its first independent adequacy decision.

Allowing businesses in both countries to share data without restrictions will make it easier for them to operate and grow. Once in force, the legislation is estimated to cut administrative and financial burdens for UK businesses by £11m a year and is expected to increase exports to South Korea by £3.8m annually.

Personal data is information related to an individual, such as a name or email address, and data must be protected to a high standard to ensure it is collected, shared and used in a “trustworthy way”. After agreeing to a data adequacy agreement in principle in July, the UK government has completed its assessment of the Republic of Korea’s legislation.

The government has concluded that the Republic of Korea has “strong privacy laws” in place which will protect data transfers to South Korea while upholding the rights and protections of UK citizens.

Before now, organisations needed to have “costly and time-consuming” contractual safeguards in place, such as standard data protection clauses and Binding Corporate Rules. The new freedoms will open up opportunities for many SMEs who may have avoided international data transfers to Korea due to these burdens.

Removing barriers to data transfers will also boost research and innovation by making it easier for experts to collaborate on medical treatments and other vital research which could save lives in the UK. For example, secure international personal data transfers are essential for developing effective medical treatments like vaccines.

UK Data Minister Julia Lopez met with representatives of the Korean Personal Information Protection Commission today to mark the legislation being laid in Parliament, which is expected to come into force from December 19. This is the UK’s first decision to recognise a priority country adequate since leaving the European Union.

Data Minister Julia Lopez MP commented: “Before the end of the year, businesses will be able to share data freely with the Republic of Korea - safe in the knowledge it will be protected to the high privacy standards we expect in the UK.

“Removing unnecessary burdens on businesses will help unleash innovation, drive growth and improve lives across both our countries.”

Ko Haksoo, chairperson of the Korean Personal Information Protection Commission, added: “I look forward to strengthening our partnership in promoting the trustworthy use and exchange of data between Korea and the UK based on a high level of data protection.”

By Matthew Neville – Correspondent, Bdaily

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