The EU’s Digital Single Market is expected to be completed before the end of 2018, following a recent agreement reached between the European Commission, European Parliament and the European Council.
Under the agreement, non-personal data must be allowed to flow freely across borders between EU Member States, so that no one country is able to withhold its data from its neighbours.
In this way, the EU hopes to prevent data protectionism, leading to an estimated 4% boost in GDP by the end of the current decade.
This makes data subject to an EU freedom similar to the freedoms of movement, goods, services and capital between member states at present – so how does it align with the newly introduced GDPR?
GDPR in the Digital Single Market
Significantly, GDPR applies to personal data, while the Digital Single Market rules apply to non-personal data; therefore, there is no concern with sharing aggregate or anonymous data across borders in this way.
Where data sets contain both personal and non-personal data, the frameworks will apply to each type separately, which still allows for data to be transmitted across borders without necessarily breaching GDPR.
However, GDPR compliance is still a key issue if you have not yet updated your policies, and it is worth recognising that the intended deadline for the Digital Single Market at the end of 2018 should still see it come into effect before the Brexit negotiations are completed.
As such, British businesses will probably be subject to any new rules, at the very least for the period between the completion of the Digital Single Market, and the conclusion of the Brexit negotiations plus any relevant transition period that follows.
Cloud services in the Digital Single Market
One more significant aspect of the Digital Single Market is that it aims to make it easier to move data around when it comes to using and switching between cloud services.
Among its key points is an aim to “encourage creation of codes of conduct for cloud services to facilitate switching between cloud service providers under clear deadlines”.
This could see cloud services – already a scalable and flexible way to handle all kinds of business data – become even more flexible than they already are.
As these new rules come into effect, Comcare will be on hand to advise on any changes you might want to make to your business networks and your use of cloud capabilities – and crucially, to do so in a way that complies with GDPR, the Digital Single Market and other relevant EU legislation.