ICO urges SMEs to ‘prepare for all scenarios’ over Brexit

Elizabeth-Denham414The Information Commissioner’s Office is stepping up its campaign to get small and medium sized businesses to “prepare for all scenarios” over how the UK leaves the EU by publishing dedicated guidance to help prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
While the political chaos ensues, recent British Chambers of Commerce research revealed that only a third of businesses had so far conducted a Brexit assessment, and that a large proportion of firms were not prepared for the potential impact of a chaotic exit.
With this in mind, the ICO guidance reiterates its previous advice on how to maintain data flows, but has been produced to be more relevant and accessible to smaller organisations.
The sharing of customers’, citizens’ and employees’ personal data between EU member states and the UK is vital for business supply chains to function and public authorities to deliver effective public services, the ICO said.
At the moment personal data flow is unrestricted because the UK is an EU member state. In the event of “no deal”, EU law will require additional measures to be put in place when personal data is transferred from the European Economic Area (EEA) to the UK, in order to make them lawful.
The ICO’s guidance sets out steps to take to keep the information flowing such as using pre-approved contract terms, which are currently used to transfer personal information worldwide.
Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham (pictured) said: “It’s crucial that organisations make sure they properly prepare for all scenarios. If your organisation sends or receives personal information to countries in the EU, this guidance will help you work out whether you need to take steps now, what you need to do to prepare, and then let you get back to running your business.
“Even if you think your organisation doesn’t transfer data internationally, I’d urge you to read what we’ve produced, and assess whether you need to act.”
Visit the ICO website for more details>

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