October 17, 2022
The Government says that the UK Digital Secretary Michelle Donelan and the US Secretary of Commerce Gina M Raimondo held positive discussions to pave the way for a new data adequacy agreement. They also established a new annual dialogue as part of a Tech Partnership.
In June 2021 Boris Johnson and President Biden met to develop a new bilateral Technology Partnership, to enable strategic cooperation and protect the countries’ technology advantage. According to the Joint Statement, over the past year, important progress has been made across several shared priorities under the Partnership, including on:
- promotion of bilateral and globally interoperable frameworks for cross-border data flows, and support for data innovation, including through the launch of prize challenges for privacy-enhancing technologies;
- a deepening of collaboration on semiconductors, particularly on addressing supply chain vulnerabilities;
- deeper cooperation on telecommunications supply chain diversification through a UK-US Telecommunications Supplier Diversity Working Group, which ensures regular information sharing and finding opportunities for further collaboration, including joint research and development initiatives;
- work to address the risks posed by AI and deliver on the AI Research and Development Cooperation Declaration; and
- setting out plans for closer working in quantum information sciences and technology.
The Joint Statement announces the launch of a new senior-level Comprehensive Dialogue on Technology and Data to further joint efforts. An annual meeting will be held to set ambitions on a yearly basis to ensure progress under the Partnership. The programme for the coming year will focus on three work strands: (i) data; (ii) critical and emerging technologies; and (iii) secure and resilient digital infrastructure.
As for cross-border data flows, the Joint Statement says that since committing to deepening UK-US dialogue on data flows in December 2021, both countries have accelerated and broadened their discussions on ways in which the benefits of improved bilateral and globally interoperable cross-border data flows can be promoted and realised.
The Joint Statement also announces significant progress on UK-US data adequacy discussions. The UK welcomes the release of the Executive Order “Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities” and intends to work expediently to conclude its assessment, with the aim of issuing an adequacy decision that will restore a stable and reliable mechanism for UK-US data flows. The US intends to work to designate the UK as a qualifying state under the Executive Order, assuming the conditions for such designation can be satisfied, which would enable UK individuals who submit qualifying complaints to access the redress mechanism established under the Executive Order.
The parties say they are working together to ensure that a deal on UK-US data adequacy upholds the rights of data subjects, facilitates responsible innovation, gives individuals in both countries access to the services that suit them, reduces burdens on businesses and delivers better outcomes for people. The parties will continue to work collaboratively on multilateral initiatives to facilitate trusted global data flows. To read the Joint Statement in full, click here