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Data protection: European Commission launches process for adoption of adequacy decision for the Republic of Korea

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The Commission has launched the process towards adoption of the adequacy decision for the transfer of personal data to the Republic of Korea. It will cover transfers of personal data to the Republic of Korea's commercial operators as well as public authorities. If adopted, this decision would provide Europeans with strong protections of their personal data when it is transferred to the Republic of Korea. At the same time, it would complement the EU-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and boost cooperation between the EU and the Republic of Korea as leading digital powers.

The trade agreement has led to a considerable rise in bilateral trade of goods and services. Ensuring the free flow of personal data to the Republic of Korea through an adequacy decision based on a high level of data protection will support this trade relationship worth nearly €90 billion. The draft adequacy decision was published and transmitted to the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) for its opinion. In the past months, the Commission has carefully assessed the Republic of Korea's law and practices on personal data protection, including the rules on access to data by public authorities. It concludes that the Republic of Korea ensures an essentially equivalent level of protection to the one guaranteed under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The press release is available online.

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