Twitter's demise under Elon Musk has been well-documented. Meta is looking to fill the void with its new Twitter-like app, Threads. It has launched in various countries including the USA and UK. But it won't launch in the EU yet, because of data concerns. But don't we have data standards in the UK too?

First, there was the General Data Protection Regulation which swept away local interpretations of the lawInstead, we had one harmonised standard for data protection across all 28 EU member states (and the extra three in the European Economic Area). Love it or loathe it, GDPR recently passed its fifth anniversary. Then there was Brexit, where the UK left the EU but carried over most of the EU laws, including GDPR. With some adjustments, this became UK GDPR. The EU Commission was content with this and decided that UK laws adequately protect personal data. This meant data transfers to and from the EEA could continue without extra measures.

More recently the UK government has tried to implement changes to UK GDPR a couple of times. These attempts have tried to achieve competing aims: diluting data protection requirements while simultaneously maintaining standardsIf that happens, the UK could lose its "adequate" status and become a "third country" under GDPR. But each attempt has been unsuccessful, in part due to the fact the Prime Minister changed. Thus, for now at least, UK data protection law is still harmonised with EU law.

It is perhaps surprising to hear that Meta has informed the Irish Data Protection Commission that it won't launch in the EU yetAccording to reports, Threads has not been blocked in the EU, but it's because Meta is confused over the impact of the EU Digital Markets Act. So, not GDPR then.

And now in the UK, there is the latest attempt to change data protection laws through the Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) BillThe UK Information Commissioner has welcomed this bill acknowledging it will maintain data standards but make compliance easierSurely, the regulator will know what's what? Well, their view is not shared by some campaign groups. Open Rights Group, for example, has warned it will weaken data protection and introduce data discrimination. If that happens, the UK will likely become a "third country" after all. Then everyone will have to adopt extra measures to transfer data. 

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