Brexit Highlights UK Leadership in #OpenSurveillance

The United Kingdom has long been considered the global pioneer in #opensurveillance transparency, leading the world in surveillance governance and privacy transparency.  In a large part due to strong civil society engagement from groups like Privacy International and Liberty, the UK has produced the most mature governance framework for open privacy identity and transparency in the world.   A framework led by the UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter. 

Prior to the Brexit referendum, the UK ICO Elizabeth Denham, previously privacy regulator in BC, Canada, was already known as the most forward thinking privacy regulatory in the world.   Now, with the UK getting close to the withdrawal from the EU, the UK is  preparing for and passing regulation to transition the UK into an international participant in global data transfer market.  

According to DCMS, the Government intends to use its regulation-making powers under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 to pass laws that  recognise all EEA states, EU and EEA institutions, and Gibraltar as providing an adequate level of protection for personal data.  In addition to preserving all EU international adequacy frameworks for international transfer of personal data, the US-EY Privacy Shield Framework.  In addition to honouring all EU model contract clauses and that active negotiation of the continued recognition of UK approved Binding Corporate Rules (BCRS), the UK now has the burden of having a higher standard of surveillance transparency than the rest of the world.

Thus creating an unforeseen side effect of creating of catapulting the UK to the forefront of privacy innovation internationally.   In this regard, there is a massive gap internationally for operational privacy & surveillance compliance.   Already, organisations in the UK who present a high privacy risk for data processing, including CCTV, are  required to be registered with ICO  Registry of Controllers. Where more that 520,000 organisations are already registered.  This public registry has pioneered pubic privacy transparency for surveillance is backed up by a surveillance camera code of conduct and certification that provides industry standards that surpass the EU. 

It will be interesting to see how this global leadership can be used by the UK to provide market leadership in privacy.   To help facilitate, OpenConsent is looking to extend UK privacy transparency to digital and physical security services around the world. 


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