Brexit’s impact on data privacy, sharing and regulations for businesses worldwide | TECH(talk)

Hey everyone welcome back to Tech Talk
I’m Juliet Beauchamp I’m here with Ken Mingis executive editor at computer
world and Matt Egan editorial director at here at IDG and we are talking all
things brexit what that means for data protection laws what’s gonna happen with
gdpr once the UK if and when the UK leaves the EU so stick around so Matt
thank you so much for coming all the way our resident UK resident thank you so
much for having me so it’s I mean the date is fast
approaching for the hard deadline to leave the EU and that’s gonna mean a lot
of things for UK residents but something that’s really gonna be interesting for
UK organisations is how like us here at IDG is how that’s going to affect data
protection and users data and how the free flow of data will work so can you
tell me a little bit about how what the current law in place is in the UK and
the EU sure so the gdpr which has had a pretty significant impact on both the
way the businesses use data and individuals data is used it’s the result
of an EU directive which basically says that as a user you have the right to
control how your data is used to ask what data is held by companies to ask
for its but deleted to understand how the company is using that data
it was a European directive which the UK adopted into law in 2018 so that law
will stay in place it’s kind of important to understand that that Europe
doesn’t really make laws it makes directives that Member States bring into
place so the basic principles which I think we all would agree a pretty good
will stay in place and actually I believe this year in the u.s. something
similar is coming into law so that’s good the challenge for the for the UK
which is allowed so many other challenges for the UK with this whole
leaving the EU thing is nobody actually knows what it means in terms of the UK’s
status as a country within the GDP are so as it stands currently you can share
information between countries with the users permission if they’re within the
you because we are all considered equal in terms of law but when the UK leaves
particularly if the UK leaves with no deal then presumably we become a kind of
unknown quantity what they call a third party country which will severely
restrict how a business like ours actually can share data across
territories within the EU is there any timeline yet Matt for when will know
whether there’s gonna be a hard brexit a soft brexit or any you know anything in
between well certainly when we started this recording Ken
they may have happened over in the last few minutes or something of a move I
mean as it stands Juliet’s point the deadline is is the
end of March essentially and the way the politics are playing out right now is
it’s very much been seen as we will leave at the end of March there’s an
element of brinksmanship around that without going into too much detail and
the honest truth is it’s this is one of those rare occasions in history and
politics where nobody really knows it is conceivable that and the EU hasn’t said
that if the UK asks this could be extended and it could go further because
although data is extremely important it’s probably not as important as a
supply of medicines and foods and so forth which are also kind of being
considered at the minute so it’s conceivable that we will leave with no
deal at the end of March in which case who knows what will happen then it
becomes kind of an unknown and we’ll see how it goes it’s also conceivable the
whole thing was delayed and it’s possible that these things will be
ironed out in the intervening time but with the current political deadlock that
seems unlikely sure so with the potential of leaving
with a deal something like data protection laws it’s certainly something
that could be negotiated into it but like you were saying if there is a hard
brexit a no deal brexit and the UK leaves there’s it’s sort of this third
party nation and there wouldn’t be that immediate ability to share data with
other EU countries what would the process for becoming recognized by the
EU but being able to share data with the EU what would that process look like
well again it’s unprecedented so nobody knows but but the
the basic principle is seen to be that you know all these things in the NGO
Shaboom so within so for instance if we think of the free movement of people
physically there is this thing called the Schengen Agreement which means non
EU countries have a deal with EU countries Switzerland is a classic
example of this that allows people to have the freedom of movement there
currently for instance the UK has with France and Spain and Ireland that you
don’t need to go through checks at a border points get through so there is a
principle that says a similar agreement could be reached with data and it is
definitely the case that the EU has you know is seeking these kind of
relationships anyway right so there is most businesses like ours within the US
have already adopted GDP our style policies because we have audience in in
the EU anyway so you might as well go to that standard and the standard makes
sense if you’re someone who respects your audience and you respect your
customers and that does mean that there is a willingness and an understanding
with you within the EU to make exceptions and have exceptional
countries who are considered no you know I’m curious do you have any sense I mean
gdpr has only been on the books I think since last May and I’ve seen you know it
sounds like there’s been sort of a slow rollout in terms of companies being
fined I know that there was a I think a French agency had find Google something
like 50 million euros for some issues last month and some smaller fines do you
get the sense that while 2018 was the year of basically educating companies
and consumers and people about data protection that 2019 may be the year
we’re going to start to see some larger fines assuming that there are breaches
and issues yeah I mean there’s no speculation in this but I think that is
the case I mean there was definitely if not explicit language there was
definitely the idea that companies would be given a chance to get their house in
order in fact part of the language is about being seen to have a policy and
communicating it within your business and we were given guidance that you know
there had to be an appointed chief data officer and that person had to
communicate certain policies around the business so not that you get a free pass
but if you happen to make a mistake but you’ve done the prep work and it was all
perceived to have been done in good faith then it was explicitly
stated that you wouldn’t be pursued by the authorities there’s also the
question of how how impossible this law is right because you get to the stage
where a company like Google kind I mean Google kind of has to choose whether or
not it pays tax in certain territories and it kind of gets to choose whether or
not I mean you know it pays a fine to a specific country because it can up stick
some move to a different place and you know there is some precedent for this so
at the same time if you’re a smaller business you might not even get noticed
frankly it would require someone’s complain about you ultimately so I think
there has been a general tenor around this stuff which is the laws all make
sense it’s good principle nobody really know anyway really wants to be in a
world where data is treated badly and was kind of a wild-west situation so
there is an element of people given chance to get the house in order but to
your direct point I think probably 2019 you’re less likely to get away with a
breach than you might do in 2008 yeah yeah make sense yeah that does make
sense so what so for at this point in time if if if a company is online if
their tech company they’re an international company at this point it’s
not like there’s any company that can say well we are based in the UK so we’re
I mean there may be some North Korean companies they’re probably not gonna be
too worried about GDP nor so since there is pretty much anyone can access
anything online what does um how would a No Deal brexit
affect the EU as opposed to the UK so we know the UK would have to apply from the
other side that’s a really good question actually because the UK law was written
essentially to mirror the GDP our so I don’t know if then and I suppose it’s
conceivable and therefore possible that the EU becomes a third party to the UK
which again is a knowns interests so I suppose the short answer surveys I don’t
know the good reason for that is I don’t think anybody knows
and one of the things that has been talked about is the you know this idea
of an Odile brexit leading to an immediate wasteland with marauding gangs
swirling around the country is is unlikely to be true because the
principle that we adopted is what was law yesterday will remain in principle
law today but it will need to be renegotiated so in this instance that is
and that I suppose there is an element of leverage there because the UK is a
very valuable market for most EU operatives so nobody wants to go
backwards in this day well many people in this conversation wants to go
backwards but most most businesses wants to be able to do business as easily as
possible and so I guess in the same way as a business like ours which is truly
international adopted GDP our globally because why wouldn’t we
I think the EU member-states would want to do business with the UK and so would
probably accept some level of pretty cuoco around that I’m curious you know
stepping back from just the GDP our whether or not the uncertainty around
brexit is having any kind of chilling effect on business in particular you
know tech business I mean I’ve certainly seen things we
were talking about this yesterday about the Honda plant that’s being closed and
I saw some story that said that if there’s a hard brexit that travelers
from the UK who are in Europe might suffer roaming fees when they’re using
their phones I mean it’s almost like being this weird sort of different class
of citizen have you gotten any sense you know whether companies and I guess since
you know we’re looking at tech companies whether they’re you know nervously
eyeing this or whether they’re just gonna wait it out and hope that
everything sort of gets muddled through yeah so I think I mean and and to make
at one point there it is explicitly been a different class of citizen because
right now anybody in the UK any new cases and as European citizens right and
that will go away so it does have a personal impact on that level I think
there are two levels of approach to this there’s a lot of uncertainty full-stop
and those definitely impact on the economy if you deal with physical
products so car manufacturers aren’t classic exactly right then it becomes
even those who are sort of remaining committed to the UK are talking about
pause in production because they literally done
know how they’re gonna get products in and out and in a just-in-time world it’s
very difficult to plan production if you don’t know how long it’s gonna take you
to get car parts through hots which is literally what we’re talking about at
this stage if you’re making cars only for the UK all of a sudden then you’re
gonna make far fewer cars from so that that has definitely had an impact
however within the part of tech which is virtual it’s more just a level of
uncertainty so an example would be like nobody really knows how v80 is gonna
work right across right but we can all mitigate risk for that and say it’ll
probably work broad to speak in the same way the UK is still a great place to do
business so maybe we’ll wait and see would be a good way of looking at that I
think one of the other challenges that people have is around personnel so a big
a big play for the UK’s is the languages spoken in the US which is quite and of
important and geographically actually UK’s nicely placed between the US and
Asia and therefore lots of companies have big workforces in London there are
multi national workforces and mrs. London specific problem all of it so in
anyway and again we’ve got some experience of that in our own office
where we have people from Spain and France and Poland none of whom really
know what the long-term future is so that is another source of anxiety and
therefore insecurity for businesses and tech businesses are big employers of
those kind of educated transient people so it’s a much it’s a much lower level
of anxiety currently and very few tech companies are making the right now
active decision to exit the UK in the way that some of the manufacturers are
but I think it’s definitely there but it’s kind of a wait-and-see so at least
it’s not hellscape on March 30th or 31st brexit expert expert oh that was good I
think it’s like you said how when once the UK leaves there’s gonna be
that sort of sense that the what was a law yesterday is still gonna be the law
today that’s kind of interesting just in how that’s going to be enforced in
particular with these data protection lies I mean if I’m on a website I find
this a lot if I’m on a dot co dot uk’ website if I’m looking up like love
island information and they I always get a sort of that privacy notification and
I just wonder small things like that if is that gonna change I don’t know really
and that’s that in and of itself has been quite an interesting thing because
that is really an interpretation of the GD P R and then became widely adopted
but it’s not you don’t specifically have to put that message that’s just been
seen as a way of gaining consent which is a very important part of the GD P R
it’s always interesting to me to be in the u.s. because it because it’s not
there and that’s kind of strange right you know and because I’m just used to
every single website you go into it been there I would say it’s unlikely people
would remove it because it’s a good way of mitigating risk for the business and
the user behavior has become such and we can measure this that people basically
just click yeah I do I know I don’t quickly breathing I mean if if people
were sufficiently concerned about the use of their data they wouldn’t be using
social media for stuff so so you know that that level of consent and we and
again just speaking for our own publications you can see they’re a tiny
percentage of people actually go in and change the the levels of consent you can
give which is which is the opportunity that you can give so I think it would
probably stay because again why would you take the additional risk of to our
previous conversation being somehow targeted by the European Union when it’s
a relatively trivial thing now that it’s in place to have their I do wonder to
this is gonna prompt the u.s. finally to get on board with some of the privacy
regulations that have been debated here in Congress I don’t know how much you
track that but I think California is moving forward with its own sort of
statewide regulations which would then spill over to probably the rest of the
country I’m not sure we’re gonna get anything out of Congress this year that
doesn’t excuse me that doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest in regulation these
days I DC but I do think that because the the Europeans have sort of planted
the flag that you know people are more aware they
almost have to be yeah about data protection privacy and how you know both
valuable and fragile that data is in terms of keeping it protected so I think
it’s a good thing and that’s that’s what led me to that question earlier about
whether we’re gonna see bigger fines issue I think that’s gonna be the big
way attention get people’s attention and of all the states in the Union
California is the one that from a media and tech perspective really matters
right and from an economic perspective you know right so it’s 150 it’s the
fifth biggest economy in the world i right yeah so so California making that
decision essentially makes that decision for almost every data holding company in
the US so you know in effect kind of thing whether it’s regulated elsewhere
or not I guess you might find that there’s this kind of pockets of places
where they do things differently because they can in the same way that we see
that with taxation within the US you know for them I think you know certainly
if I think about our business like once California makes a regulation we’re
gonna adhere to that California goes so goes the u.s. yeah absolutely
so I was also wondering can I’m just seeing that you have this art or hold up
that French data protection watchdog find Google and I wonder if how those
sort of I mean that’s a wonderful resource that all of the EU really
benefits by this French watchdog groups organizations work and will I wonder if
this is more interested hypothetical I wonder if the UK will still sort of
enjoy that opportunity that you know these other countries have there have I
mean found that the UK doesn’t have a cybersecurity watchdog er nobody it does
like as we’ve cyber security as well for now it does you know that there are how
can I say this in a balanced way there there are pluses and minuses to being
able to make your own decisions have been part of the bigger gang right and
that’s that’s another example that doriel that is a good example of how
what happens in one member state is then let’s wear the member-states you know
and that’s not always good and certainly there are people within the UK who would
say we don’t want to you know have the way things are approached dictated to by
a group an unwieldy group of lots of different countries but there’s
definitely a certain loss of strength in numbers I guess you know it’s very
interesting thank you and I think that that covers that I guess we’re gonna
wait and find out how much we muddle through all of this we’ll have you back
in a few months if you can you can come back great
thank you guys so much it was really interesting and I mean the great thing
is that we’re not gonna have to wait that long to find out how this is all
right unless the UK pushes back I predicted the model yeah yeah that’s
true so thank you so much for watching this episode of tech talk if you liked
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One Comment

  1. tony da silva 77 said:

    ty bro =)

    March 13, 2019

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