Home Office announce UK-US agree to share criminal data

25/07/2022 | UK Government

The Home Office has announced that it will enter into a Data Access Agreement concerning criminal data sharing with the US. The agreement will take effect on 3 October and aims to provide law enforcement in both countries with "better access to vital data to combat serious crime" while maintaining values and a "mission of protecting our citizens and safeguarding our national security." As a result, law enforcement agencies will be able to access data "more quickly than ever before" while "strong oversight and protections that our citizens enjoy" remain. 

An article by Covington on its Inside Privacy blog provides additional commentary, including the history of the agreement, which was originally signed in October 2019. Andrea Jelinek, Chair of the European Data Protection Board, expressed concerns to MEPs in June 2020 that the UK risked throwing an adequacy agreement with the EU away over a potential UK-US agreement on data access for criminal investigations. 

UPDATE: 250722 - In a Twitter post for the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), James Dipple-Johnstone, Deputy Commissioner, said: "Protecting the public from serious crime is an important mission. This legally binding agreement is designed to help UK and US law enforcement agencies access electronic information and evidence from service providers more quickly, while allowing people to exercise their information rights."

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