So, it’s happened. Three and a half years after the 2016 referendum, Britain has left the European Union and now enters what is being called a “transition” period expected to last until the end of 2020.
We’ve all argued until we’re red, white and blue in the face about whether or not it was the right decision, but the time has now come to consider the potential challenges and opportunities that come with the United Kingdom no longer being part of the EU.
Though little is likely to change immediately, the coming months will see how Brexit takes shape and affects the everyday aspects of our lives. Among those are the internet, online security and social media, so what’s likely to change as the country severs ties with the EU, and what should we expect to stay the same?
Will GDPR still apply?
The full name of the GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679, which might lead you to believe that it’s solely something EU countries need to adhere to. However, it also covers European Economic Area (EEA) countries outside of the EU, such as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The UK leaving the EU complicates the situation, but basically, GDPR will still apply, with the legislation working in tandem with the UK’s own Data Protection Act 2018. In time, the EU may have to make an ‘adequacy decision’ on whether or not the UK’s data protection levels are sufficient enough for GDPR not to be necessary. Countries like Switzerland, Japan and Canada have already been recognised as such, as have some Crown dependencies such as Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.
What about data roaming?
This is something where speculation of post-Brexit changes has been rife. Will we be charged through the nose for accessing mobile data in Europe?
A lot depends on whether or not a deal is agreed with the EU over this transitional period. If it is, the likelihood is that current policies will stay in place, meaning Brits can take advantage of surcharge-free data roaming in any EU or EEA countries. With no deal, though, this becomes less certain, and charges will be decided by network providers.
The good news is that according to the i, many of them have hinted at keeping their current data roaming policies in place regardless of how Brexit negotiations proceed, including Vodafone, O2, Three and EE.
Certain online presence in an uncertain future
Brexit has polarised the country, leaving us with a situation that around half of us consider exciting, and the other half frightening. Whatever side of the argument you might be on, it will be important to monitor the progress of Brexit, particularly if you run a business.
If you want to make sure your website remains high-performing and data-secure whatever the next 12 months brings, speak to us at Engage Web.