Priya Thapar

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Government identifies preferred candidate for Information Commissioner: What you need to know

Big Data / 27 August 2021

The Government released a statement yesterday announcing Mr John Edwards, as its preferred candidate to succeed Ms Elizabeth Dunhem, the current Information Commissioner. Mr Edwards is currently acting as New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner and brings a wealth of data regulatory knowledge and 20 years experience of information law. Mr Edwards is expected to take office by the end of this year.

At the same time, the Government has made its intentions clear that it aims to take the UK’s data regime to next level, post-Brexit, by announcing its plan to invest in a multi-billion pound global data partnership with the US, Australia and the Republic of Korea. A  consultation will be launched to invite suggestions on ways to increase trade and innovation through the data regime.

The territories that will be prioritised in striking ‘data adequacy’ partnerships are the United States, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, the Dubai International Finance Centre, and Columbia. Importantly, these plans are likely to resolve key hindrances faced by businesses currently stuck in Data and Privacy Law conundrums over international transfers to third countries.

There are also plans in the pipeline to partner with countries such as India, Brazil, Kenya and Indonesia. These plans are focused on making the exchange of data with important and fast-growing economies easier and more efficient for UK businesses.

I will keep you updated as plans develop, highlight what this may mean for your data privacy compliance. If you are currently grappling with Data and Privacy Law conundrums, I am always happy to discuss the situation and how I can help.


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This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email:

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