December 9, 2023

Six years after the referendum in which the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, in the midst of what appears to be government collapseCountry announcing The first international data exchange deal: signed an agreement with South Korea, which will allow organizations in the UK to transfer data to the Republic of Korea, and vice versa, without restrictions.

“Data transfers” cover any and all digital services that may be provided in one country but used or operated in the other. It covers data in services like GPS, smart devices, online banking, research, internet services, and more. The United Kingdom said South Korea is home to two of the world’s largest technology companies, specifically mobile technology companies, Samsung and LG, and already accounts for about 1.33 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in international digital trade.

“Today marks a major milestone for the UK and Republic of Korea and the high standards of data protection we share,” British Data Secretary Julia Lopez said in a statement. “Our new agreement will unlock more digital commerce to boost business in the UK and will enable more vital research that can improve the lives of people across the country.”

I am honored to agree to this joint statement today. Strengthening cooperation between the UK and the Republic of Korea based on mutual recognition of high standards of protection can contribute to a healthier and more sustainable global data landscape,” added ROK Commissioner Jeong Fei-yeon.

South Korea was one of several countries Dedicated for what is called International Data Adequacy Initiative It aims to “unleash the benefits of free and secure cross-border data flows now that the country has left the European Union” – the others being the US, Australia, Singapore, DIFC and Colombia. “The government continues to make excellent progress in its discussions with other priority countries,” she said today.

Ironically, had the UK stayed in the EU, there would be no more effort that it achieved today: South Korea already has a data sufficiency deal with Europe.

Google, Mastercard and Microsoft were among the companies and outside experts advising the government on the deal as part of the International Data Transfer Expert Council formed earlier this year. The government argues that the data transfers and the many regulations that have been put in place around them have resulted in billions of pounds of trade being “unrealized” due to the navigation of this landscape.

Specifically, the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – which is overseeing the deal – said the idea would be that companies and organizations doing business across the two countries would be “able to share data freely and maintain high standards of protection” while doing so. Given that the basics of a country’s data use policies have been examined and coordinated in theory, parties will no longer have to deal with contractual safeguards, she said, including paperwork for international data transfer agreements or binding company rules.

However, you could argue that the time taken, and the fact that it only covers one country, could have been a partner of the UK (without Brexit) anyway, and that fact is that today’s deal is resident It’s not fully finished – it’s just “in principle” – pulling the rug out a bit from under the argument that Brexit will cut British red tape moving forward when it comes to trade deals.

However, getting deals with the rest of the priority list will be a start. DCMS has estimated that the “data-enabled services” to the full list (which includes the US) are currently worth more than £80 billion.

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