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UK, EU deal includes close cooperation on data protection, cybersecurity

The United Kingdom and the European Union agreed on a deal Oct. 17 that includes cooperation on data protection and cybersecurity, among other technological safeguards.

Highlighting the importance of the exchange of information, the EU said it will assess the U.K.'s data protection framework by the end of 2020 in light of its bolstered General Data Protection Regulation laws. The U.K. passed its own revised Data Protection Act 2018 that incorporated key aspects of the EU legislation, with some minor adjustments.

Since the law was introduced, the country's data regulator has handed down fines of over £3 million across 22 cases of privacy violations, including penalties for Facebook Ireland Ltd.

The voluntary sharing of information between the EU and U.K. will also extend to cybersecurity, with the two parties agreeing to alert one another to cyber incidents, techniques and the origins of the attackers.

These measures will see the United Kingdom closely collaborating with the EU's Computer Emergency Response Team and the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security.

The deal also recommends comprehensive arrangements on trade in digital and telecommunications networks and services built on the principles of fair and equal access. It adds that both parties should respect each other's rights to regulate, while also addressing anti-competitive practices.

For online services, it calls for an open, secure and trustworthy environment free of barriers to trade such as "unjustified data localisation requirements."

The U.K. parliament will vote on the revised deal in the coming days, with 320 votes required to get it approved.