Upon prompting by the Open Rights Group, I've written to my MP, Layla Moran, about the data laundering provisions of the UK-Japan trade agreement.
You may or may not be aware that that new UK-Japan trade agreement includes expansive data transfer clauses posing a threat to our privacy. These provisions essentially create a surreptitious process for your data to be transferred to other jurisdictions with poor data protection records, including the US.
MPs seem to have been deliberately kept in the dark about these measures which amount to turning the UK into a data laundering haven for unaccountable multinational corporations and countries with weak data protection standards.
I would encourage you and your MP colleagues to call for the freezing of these sections of the treaty - as happened with the unconscionable intellectual property chapters of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.
The dangerous undermining of UK citizen and other residents' rights is likely to be an ongoing feature of the government's desperate rush to enter into trade deals they can promote as Brexit successes. In these challenging times, significant vigilance will be required on the part of all our parliamentary representatives to protect fundamental rights in the UK.
I this instance I would ask you to ask the government to “freeze data transfer clauses from the new UK-Japan trade agreement”. This will allow the agreement to go ahead but would freeze (stop) the harmful clauses endangering our privacy.
You can find the UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement documents containing treaty information and a summary of the agreement online.
Jim Killock and Heather Burns at the Open Rights Group have prepared a succinct explanation of the issues. The agreement contains brand new clauses which priotise the “free flow of data” between the UK and Japan, and from there on to other trade partners, over and above data protection rights.
ORG also have a more comprehensive briefing on how the UK-Japan deal severs post Brexit data adequacy. (Pdf version available too).
There are also other serious concerns with the agreement, particularly in relation to general monitoring provisions - upload filters like the EU copyright directive's Article 17 - and bans on circumventing DRM/TPM even for the facilitation of interoperability or repair.
Given the Johnson government Svengali Cumming's obsession with eviscerating the controls on the collection and exploitation of big data, an intense and ongoing focus on resisting such dismantling of fundamental privacy and data protection rights is certainly in order.