When you’re on Facebook or Google and you’re next hit by one of those tedious terms and conditions pop-up forms that most of us never read and mindlessly accept, do have in mind you may be clicking away the your right to sue these companies in British courts.
Tech giants like Google are moving legal responsibility for your data from Dublin in Ireland to California. Creating a minefield of data sovereignty issues for the future.
What is changing with Data Sovereignty?
The data these firms hold on you is held in multiple servers across the globe so what is shifting is the territory which holds legal responsibility. That’s heading back to California to where the companies are based. Making the data their data sovereignty.
Why does Data Sovereignty matter to me?
Google’s and Facebook’s move means that British users don’t have recourse to European Law. So, what’s the matter? Well, US companies enjoy a warmer relationship with their regulators than they do with European lawmakers. Think of the accessibility of chlorinated chicken in the US and how this is a non-starter in Europe. Now with Brexit, the responsibility of regulating these giants rests with the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK Internet watchdog.
Tech giants may seek to make Britain a regulatory beacon to Europe working with the newly flexible, newly sovereign British government to demonstrate the benefits of a new deal on data protection.
Lobbying by the tech giants and their friends who know their way around the corridors of power – thinking here of former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, who is Facebook’s chief PR – It is also plausible that Britons’ standards of data protection will be downgraded over time through lobbying.
This would risk triggering a fight with the EU over adequacy and threaten the flow of data between Britain and the EU.
The geopolitical plate tectonics of data movement are more fluid than ever with opportunities and risks aplenty.