And following the vote, there has been discussion over whether the EU regulations on data security, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), due to come into force in 2018, will remain applicable to the UK.
As it stands, the rules of GDPR will apply to any business that stores, transmits or processes personal information from users, as the regulations say that businesses have a duty of care to keep this information safe and secure.
This policy would therefore be applicable to dating sites, which take user information in order to create profiles and provide them with the best matches possible.
John Cassidy, VP EMEA of Ground Labs has said: “Although it’s very early days, there are some misconceptions around the impact of Brexit on the many thousands of organisations responsible for storing and managing sensitive personal data.”
Prior to Brexit, the GDPR was gaining momentum in the UK as a government driven regulation that businesses must comply with or face substantial penalties in the event of personal information being lost or stolen.
“One common misconception is that the GDPR applies to companies within Europe, but it’s actually designed to protect European consumers,” Cassidy said.
“This means that if you are handling even one European customer’s personal information, you are tasked to handle his information in line with the GDPR, or face the consequences.”
This therefore means that the policy does not apply to all companies working within the EU, but rather to any business dealing with customers within European countries.
It is presumed that when the UK leaves the EU, it will likely introduce a similar rule – something the ICO has made statements suggesting – however, Cassidy warns: “GDPR is not going away and Brexit is certainly not a green card for those wishing to avoid the reputational damage, financial losses and considerable fines associated with a security breach.
“These data regulations should not be seen as extra homework to be dodged, they are designed to prevent devastating data breaches that can cost millions and could lose you customers.”
In a recent guest article published on GDI, Daniel Castro, the director of the Center for Data Innovation spoke about how Brexit has given the UK an opportunity to “replace the stringent EU data protection regulations with a more forward-looking set of rules that enable data-driven innovation and in so doing cement the country’s leadership in the digital economy.”
Read Castro’s blog on EU data regulation issues here.