Google, Microsoft, and more to advise UK government on international data transfers

A few days ago, Google penned a blog post emphasizing the importance of a robust EU-U.S. data transfer framework and while major conversations surrounding this topic haven't officially kicked off yet, what we do have happening today is big tech firms meeting with the UK government to advise on international data transfers.

UK flag with logos of Microsoft IBM Google Mastercard and Boris Johnson

In its first meeting, the International Data Transfer Expert Council will provide advice to the UK government about how it can unlock the "benefits of free and secure cross-border data flows", considering that the country has left the European Union (EU). The government has noted that the full potential of its trading capabilities has not been utilized because of the hurdles related to data transfer. UK Data Minister Julia Lopez went on to say that:

Realising the benefits of international data flows has never been more important. We want the UK to drive forward cutting-edge policies at home and overseas to ensure people, businesses and economies benefit from safe and secure data flows.

Today we’re launching a new panel of global experts to help us achieve these aims and I will lead the first meeting so together we can deliver a world-leading and truly global data policy for the future.

Today will be the first of many meetings held by the International Data Transfer Expert Council, which will meet on a quarterly basis. It includes representatives from many notable tech companies and institutes including Microsoft, Google, Mastercard, IBM, World Economic Forum, and more.

Although the UK already has several data protection laws, the council will focus on new laws for international transfer of identifiable and non-identifiable data. The effort includes ensuring that the trading country where the data is being transferred to also has data laws similar to that of the UK. Prioritized countries and areas for this endeavor include the U.S., Australia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the Dubai International Finance Centre, and Colombia.

The idea will be to make the UK "a global leader in removing barriers to cross-border data flows" under the government's National Data Strategy.

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