Addleshaw Goddard has co-ordinated the British Retail Consortium's response to the Information Commissioner's Office on data transfers outside the UK, published on Friday 8 October 2021 (The ICO Consultation).

While welcoming the option to use a new Transfer Risk Assessment tool and a new international Data Transfer Agreement for data transfers outside the UK, the BRC members emphasise the need to seek closer alignment of the UK personal data transfers regime with the EU personal data transfers regime. 

The ICO Consultation, which closed on 11 October 2021, is a critical part of deciding how British retail businesses will continue to protect customer data when it is transferred outside of the UK*. The BRC represents over 170 major retailers and thousands of smaller, independent organisations, responsible for £180bn of retail sales and employing over 1.5m people. The BRC's response is a key part of establishing how the UK retail sector will be affected by the proposals. 

Dr Nathalie Moreno, a partner in AG's Tech and Data practice, who co-ordinated the response, said: "Although this response represents many disparate voices within UK retail, they were unanimous for the proposals to support a close alignment with the EU data transfers regime". 

"Clearly, at the forefront of all organisations' concerns are potential compatibility and consistency issues between the UK and the EU data transfers framework. 

"We therefore strongly support the ICO's proposed options for UK businesses to be able to continue to rely on existing EU instruments for data transfers outside the EEA, such as the EU Standard Contractual Clauses alongside the new proposed UK Addendum to make them appropriate in the UK context. 

"Overall, the BRC is happy to be given the opportunity to submit a response to such complex and vital issue that are data transfer rules for British retail businesses and we are delighted to have been able to help."

Please click here to see Dr. Nathalie Moreno's article on the UK ICO's Consultation on Data Transfers outside the UK: Towards a New Model Data Transfer Contract.