HomeInsightsData adequacy: UK Government Committee launches inquiry


The House of Lords European Affairs Committee has launched an inquiry into data adequacy and its implications for the UK-EU relationship.

The inquiry comes as the EU is due to review its decision to grant the UK a status of “data adequacy”, signifying that the UK provides a sufficiently similar level of personal data protection to that provided by the EU. The designation, conferred in 2021 following the UK’s exit from the EU, allows the free flow of commercial and criminal investigation-related personal data to and from the bloc under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Law Enforcement Directive.

There have been suggestions in recent months from some in the European Parliament that this designation could be under threat, citing in particular the possible divergence in regimes represented by the proposed UK Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (see Wiggin update here). As the Committee points out, if the EU were to withdraw its adequacy decisions, there could be significant consequences, not only in terms of adversely affecting the ability of businesses to share data freely, but also on UK-EU security cooperation as it could lead to restrictions on the flow of data for law enforcement purposes.

In advance of any decision being made by the EU (which must take place by June 2025, but could be sooner), the Committee seeks views on the value and challenges of the existing adequacy regime, what can be learned from other countries’ experience with the adequacy system, and the implications – if any – of a “no or disrupted UK-EU data adequacy scenario”.

Written evidence must be submitted by 12pm on 3 May 2024, and more information can be found here.