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On November 23, 2022, the UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (“DCMS”) announced that it had completed its assessment of South Korea’s personal data legislation, and concluded that sufficiently strong privacy laws are in place to protect UK personal data transferred to South Korea while upholding the rights and protections of UK citizens.

This is the first independent adequacy decision concluded by the UK government following the UK’s departure from the European Union. Having agreed to a data adequacy agreement in principle in July 2022, the UK government has now brought the Data Protection (Adequacy) (Republic of Korea) Regulations 2022 before Parliament. The Regulations are expected to come into force on December 19,2022.

Once in place, the adequacy decision will permit the transfer of UK personal data to South Korea without the need for additional safeguards, such as the ICO’s International Data Transfer Agreement. DCMS’ press release on the adequacy decision can be read here.