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UK seals data pact with South Korea

The United Kingdom today sealed an agreement in principle with South Korea to allow personal data to flow freely between the two countries.

The agreement, called a “data adequacy decision,” is the U.K.’s first since it took control of its own data policy after leaving the European Union.

“Our new agreement will open up more digital trade to boost U.K. businesses and will enable more vital research that can improve the lives of people across the country,” said British data minister Julia Lopez.

Data-fueled trade between London and Seoul already surpasses £1 billion, and the agreement is expected to be a boon for companies with significant operations in both countries, like electronics firm Samsung and pharma giant AstraZeneca.

The deal with South Korea is the first of 10 London has earmarked now that it gets to strike its own international data-flows deals. It has also targeted Australia, Brazil, Colombia, the Dubai International Financial Centre, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Singapore, and the United States for similar agreements.

U.K. officials have previously said they’re aiming to speed up the process of striking data pacts with other countries now that the country is out of the EU, which currently has a total of 14 international data pacts on its books.

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