UK’s decision to exit the EU bears significant consequences in the political and economic landscape, but also in the digital one. “UK citizens risk losing their digital rights post-Brexit,” says Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group (ORG), in a blog post.
Digital rights advocates fear digital laws created by the EU will be scrapped and UK citizens will no longer have “a clear idea what levels and kinds of protection of digital rights” they are entitled to.
Data Protection laws, e-privacy, net neutrality, telecoms regulations, copyright enforcement and copyright laws are defined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and enforced through the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
Outside the EU, the influence of the CJEU is expected to become weaker. And this is not good, according to ORG, as the CJEU made important digital rights advances, such as limitations on data retention and requiring better privacy protections from the USA for data transfers.
The European Economic Area (EEA) has its own court so the UK’s digital rights groups will not be able to impact legislation. The possibility of a full Brexit brings even fewer opportunities for influencing legislation to the advantage of the citizen.
We would need to be confident that the UK develops much stronger constitutional protections for human rights to be fully supportive of a solution along these lines,” the post reads. â€œThe digital environment is already international. There are good reasons for laws to become more consistent, rather than less. Whatever solution is adopted, this pressure will exist.”