Insights Government announces members of International Data Transfer Expert Council


The International Data Transfer Expert Council will provide independent advice to the Government on unlocking the benefits of free and secure cross-border data flows.

The membership of the Council is comprised of 20 experts selected from civil society, academia and industry around the world. Their experiences cover a range of areas including patient healthcare, scientific research, artificial intelligence and finance. A full list is set out in the Government’s press release.

There is a range of mechanisms under current UK data protection law which organisations can use to transfer personal data to other countries, including standard contractual clauses and binding corporate rules. The Council will give advice on the development of new international data transfer tools and mechanisms and securing new data adequacy partnerships with other countries.

Now that the UK has left the EU, the Government intends to strike deals on personal data transfers with some of its key trading partners around the world. It has outlined the first countries with which it will prioritise striking data adequacy partnerships to ensure that the data protection standards in the country to which data is being transferred mirror those of the UK. The UK’s current priority countries include the United States, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the Dubai International Finance Centre and Colombia. The Government says that securing new data transfer agreements will build significantly on the annual £83 billion of data-enabled UK service exports.

The launch of the Council is part of the Government’s National Data Strategy to harness the power of data to boost economic growth, create jobs and deliver new innovations for people and public services.

During its first meeting last week, the Council discussed the global opportunities and challenges for international transfers and how the UK can be a global leader in removing barriers to cross-border data flows to enable smoother and more straightforward transfers without the need for costly and complicated contracts.

The Council will continue to meet quarterly covering issues such as future data adequacy partnerships, the development of new data transfer tools, and how governments can work together to promote greater trust in sharing personal data for law enforcement and national security purposes. To read the Government’s press release in full, click here.