After the shocking vote this past week that led to the Brexit, many changes have begun to happen that people can’t even begin to understand. In addition to currency drops, immigration talks, the prime minister resigning, and the push for future referendums, one thing that has to be anticipated is the issue of data privacy. It might seem miniscule in the grand scheme of things, but there’s no doubt that Brexit will impact data privacy concerns for U.S. companies. When the UK was part of the EU, data privacy regulations were fairly consistent across the board. But now that the UK is pulling out, these regulations could drastically change, causing a lot of stress for U.S. companies. With only two years to figure this all out, it could get messy.
Well, first of all, the UK has been one of the most stable countries out of all EMEA for the U.S. to store data centers. That’s no surprise. However, the U.S. also has data centers located throughout the rest of the EU. This means that following a certain set of data privacy guidelines has been relatively smooth…until now. After Brexit, the UK may decide to create and follow its own data privacy guidelines, separate from the EU. The U.S. will then have to match guidelines for both regions, which can certainly be a headache. If it becomes too much of an inconvenience, it could really change where the U.S., as well as other countries, choose to store their data centers altogether.
This isn’t the first time dramatic changes like this has happened. Last year, the European Court of Justice created the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, when they decided that the US-EU Safe Harbor Agreement was invalid. This was expected to set the standard straight for data privacy laws and regulations across the EU. But now that the UK is exiting the EU, will they choose to follow this same standard, or move onto their own? Sound complicated? Think about the U.S. companies are feeling.
But, there’s good news!
There’s no real reason that the UK shouldn’t hold onto the GDPR standards, or at least create something very similar. In fact, most experts in the industry believe the UK will hold on to them. However, in the meantime, U.S. companies may decide to push their data footprint further into Europe, or even just hold off until the U.K figures out its next move. This wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for companies who want to have a broader international presence. Furthermore, if the U.K decides to go a different route with their data privacy laws, then there’s a chance tech companies may see this is as opportunity to innovate and take advantage of the changes.
Who knows? Maybe the U.K will set the new standard for data privacy, and the EU will eventually change over to them.
If you think the Brexit won’t impact you, you could be wrong. The entire Brexit issue has impacted ordinary people and companies in ways we could never imagine. Keep paying attention to the news to see how this situation plays out.
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