Regulatory divergence: The effects of UK technology law reforms on data protection and international transfers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The chapter examines examples of ongoing law reforms in technology law in the UK and the EU, discussing their effects on data protection and commercial data transfers.
This chapter examines aspects of this ‘digital law reform package’, and analyses the effects of a specific technology law reform on another area of law reform in the digital sphere. In particular, I question the effects of online safety law reform (the Online Safety Bill) and AI regulation on data protection in the UK and commercial data transfers between the UK and the EU. The focus will be on the most significant proposal in these reforms that may compromise or otherwise impact the UK data protection regime, its adequacy and its relationship with the EU data protection regime. I challenge these proposals based on their divergence and inconsistency and conclude that the technology (and other) law reform needs are approached holistically, or we risk unintended and adverse consequences, not only on the enforceability of these proposals but also on the UK’s data protection adequacy and, notably, data protection and privacy rights of individuals in the UK.
As a framework, the chapter endorses Armstrong's regulatory alignment/divergence model. He submits that regulatory alignment/divergence in any given policy area will be a ‘function of the operation and interaction of different modes of governance: hierarchy, competition, co-ordination, networks and community.’
The chapter approaches these questions of relevant law reforms comparatively, looking at the proposals in context and action, assessing their consequences and effects on individuals and society.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationData Protection and Digital Sovereignty Post-Brexit
EditorsEdoardo Celeste , Róisín Á Costello , Edina Harbinja, Napoleon Xanthoulis
PublisherHart Publishing
ISBN (Electronic)9781509966493, 9781509966509
ISBN (Print)9781509966486
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

This paper is protected by copyright. This is an accepted manuscript of a chapter published in the book, 'Data Protection and Digital Sovereignty Post-Brexit', and published by Hart Publishing. The published version of the book is available at:


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