In a Compliance Week article about possible pitfalls facing the United Kingdom's new information commissioner, John Edwards, Intellectual Property associate Tegan Miller-McCormack discussed the potential tension between the country's efforts to reform data protection laws and its adequacy agreement with the European Union.

Tegan noted that Edwards' success or failure in his new role could partly hinge on how he balances the country's post-Brexit reforms against the European Union's data protection standards.

"The UK government views the reform of its data protection regime as one of the biggest potential benefits of leaving the EU, as it wants to create an ambitious, pro-growth, and innovation-friendly data protection regime," Tegan said.

"A good example of the balancing act Edwards will need to perform will be tested by how successfully he assists in the negotiation of adequacy partnerships with non-EU states, including the United States," she added. "The freedom to negotiate such agreements is one of the most obvious potential Brexit bonuses, but in doing so, Edwards will be acutely aware of not threatening the EU's adequacy decision."

"Difficult Path Ahead for New ICO Head John Edwards," Compliance Week, January 12, 2022

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