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Published: 20 July 2018
‘The data protection implications of a ‘Hard Brexit’ are mind-boggling and stretch well beyond the British Isles. Rachel’s paper contains well-researched material and various insights which many people will find helpful in the months ahead as the scenes change on the wider Brexit stage with bewildering speed. Nowhere else are the various issues discussed in a single place in such depth.’Mrs Masterton, who has worked at the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) for five years, completed the paper as part of her Master of Laws Information Rights Law and Practice and was awarded a distinction.
‘I had imagined my paper would end up on the shelf in our office with a very limited readership, so it is extremely flattering that our Chairman, Richard Thomas, had such faith in the document that he has circulated more widely,’ said Mrs Masterton. ‘Working in a jurisdiction that understands the importance of an adequacy decision from the European Commission for the free flow of data between us and EU Member States, I felt in a position to add a different slant to the subject, drawing on the experience of the Bailiwick. The issue of personal data is extremely important within the Brexit conversation, and the UK government has made a number of references to the data protection implications of Brexit since the vote in June 2016. It seems to be aware that trade could be impacted adversely. ‘Locally, The Data Protection (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2017 was drafted with Brexit in mind and so provides a gateway for transfers to UK-based organisations once the split happens. Businesses in the UK and EU need to be aware that Brexit will have data protection implications and start looking at how they will handle those. If the UK receives adequacy, that will address those issues in the most part and put the UK in the same position as the Bailiwick. If, for any reason, adequacy is not forthcoming, UK organisations and the EU based organisations that they receive personal data from will need to make use of the various safeguarding mechanisms within the GDPR,’ she added.At her recent graduation from the University of Northumbria, Mrs Masterton was one of a number of people from the Law and Business Faculty to share the Faculty Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Award. The top three points from Rachel Masterton’s dissertation - 'Leaving the EU: the data protection implications of a ‘Hard Brexit’ for UK businesses with EU data flows and clients' are: