4.2 - Global Legislation

Exam Board:



2016 - Unit 2 

Data Protection outside the UK

The 8th principle of the Data Protection Act (1998) states:

"Personal data shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the EEA (European Economic Area) unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data."

The European Economic Area is made up of all EU countries (such as France, Germany and Spain) as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The European Commission states that only some other countries have data protection laws that are adequate enough for transfer. These countries are Andorra, Argentina, the Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Israel, Jersey, New Zealand, Switzerland and Uruguay. Additionally, Canada and the USA have partial adequacy and some data may be transferred - the EU-US Privacy Shield legally permits personal data to be transferred between the European Union and the USA for commercial purposes.

Some countries have data protection laws in place that are legally binding but declared as not adequate enough by the European Commission (such as Russia, Brazil and South Africa). Other countries have no data protection laws at all (such as Mongolia, Iran and Pakistan).

You can view a map here which shows data protection across the world.

Countries that store information centres linked to the UK have been impacted by UK legislation and have had to change their own laws so that they match. For example, because there are many call centres located in India that are used by UK companies, Indian data protection laws had to be amended after the Data Protection Act was introduced in 1998 in the UK. 

If the data needs to be transferred outside of the UK, the sender has to assess whether it is safe to do so, they could be breaking the Data Protection Act (1998) if there is not adequate protection in place.


UNCRPD stands for United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is a United Nations human right that states disabled people should be able to 'access information systems' (article 9) and 'use digital means to express their opinion' (article 21).

For example, websites should use <alt> text on images so that text-to-speech software can describe the image aloud, for the visually impaired.

The image above has alt text that can't be seen by a typical viewer but will be read aloud by a text-to-speech program.

Questo's Questions

4.2 - Global Legislation:

1. What is the problem with transferring data outside of the UK? [3]

2. What is UNCRPD and why is it important? Describe what alt text is used for. [3]

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