Technology giant Google is planning to move its UK users accounts to the US in a move which will see them lose data protections guaranteed under EU law, according to a Reuters exclusive. The news agency cited multiple sources inside the company as saying that as a result of Brexit, there will be no need to maintain British accounts in Ireland, where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) apply.
The decision was apparently a result of the lack of clarity regarding the British government’s intentions vis a vis maintaining protections enshrined in the GDPR. “The United States has among the weakest privacy protections of any major economy, with no broad law despite years of advocacy by consumer protection groups”, Reuters says. After this shift were to happen British law enforcement would presumably have less difficulty in accessing information of people that they are targeting.
"Never discount the desire of tech companies not be caught in between two different governments”, Google's former lead for global privacy technology, Lea Kissner, told Reuters. Google did not respond to a request for comment. Numerous other tech companies, such as Facebook, face a similar situation of holding UK users account data while being based in an EU country and being subject to EU regulations. Data protection will be one of the many issues which companies have to address as the effects of Brexit continue to be more fully understood, according to industry analysts.