UK Google data on the move

By Euan Henderson

Cyber Security apprentice

Earlier this year, Google released a statement outlining the company’s plan to move the data of UK users from its datacentres in the EU to the US.

Services, including Gmail, YouTube and the Android Play store are likely to be affected and it is believed that this move is being made to avoid legal issues after Brexit.

Some experts think this is due to privacy concerns as, post Brexit, the UK’s Data Protection Act along with the high surveillance culture, may mean that the UK does not actually meet the “adequacy” status required by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

EU rules do not permit the sharing of personal information with countries that do not meet its strict standards and it appears that Google wants to play it safe and simply move UK data to the US.

The US has an agreement with the EU called the ‘EU-US Privacy Shield’, which allows Google to hold the data of the UK and not have to worry about GDPR compliance for data held in the EU and therefore, any clashing of laws.

With laws such as the 2018-US-UK cloud act, this allows more access to the data held by US companies on users for both the US and UK if required for an investigation and the movement of data, effectively giving the US greater access over UK data.

This all might be avoided if the UK was able to sign a GDPR agreement with the EU by December 31st 2020, the end of the transition period.

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