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Sarah Thompson to UK Companies: Prepare Now for EU Data Privacy Rules

June 15, 2016

In a June 7 article she wrote for Personnel Today, London labor and employment associate Sarah Thompson tells UK businesses not to wait until after the EU referendum to prepare for new EU data privacy rules. British companies probably will have to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation, which goes into effect in 2018, regardless of whether the UK remains a member of the EU.

Even if the UK votes to leave, Thompson explains, it won’t be a quick departure and EU laws will not be immediately revoked; there will be a two-year exit period to accommodate negotiations over terms and transitional measures. After that, many UK companies will continue doing business in or with EU member states — thus invoking coverage of EU data privacy laws. Moreover, Thompson notes, a post-Brexit UK likely will decide to enact data privacy legislation very similar to that in the EU.

The article, titled “EU referendum: no excuse to put off data protection preparations,” includes a summary of the regulations and the expected impact on the regulated community, particularly UK businesses.