In principle adequacy agreement

On 5 July 2022, following one year of discussions, the UK and South Korea reached an agreement on a data adequacy decision in principle. The in principle adequacy agreement is the UK's first of this sort since leaving the European Union. This decision will enable the secure exchange of data between the countries without restrictions, such as the need for contractual safeguards. This will promote the trustworthy use and exchange of data between the two countries.

The UK and South Korea will continue to collaborate on the of data frameworks for the digital age, taking into account the ongoing initiatives in each country, such as the UK's National Data Strategy, the proposed reforms to the UK GDPR and South Korea's proposed amendments to the Personal Information Protection Act.

The UK government's views are that the agreement will reduce the administrative and financial compliance costs faced by companies when transferring data.

As the data adequacy decision has only been agreed in principle, it has yet to be finalised.


Alongside the in principle adequacy agreement, the Information Commissioner's Office ("ICO") and the South Korean Personal Information Protection Commission ("PIPC") have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Regulation of Laws Protecting Personal Data on Cooperation ("MoU").

The MoU sets out how the two authorities will continue to co-operate on specific projects, share experiences and best practices and share information and intelligence to support their regulatory work. The MoU does not involve the sharing of personal data and it will be monitored and reviewed biennially.

See more about the in principle agreement here.

See more on the MoU here.

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