Ireland’s nearest neighbour is the UK. We also share an island with part of the UK. So it’s only natural that .uk domain names are a popular choice for Irish business. If you’re doing business with the UK then having a .uk or a .co.uk domain name for your website or email when you’re targeting the UK market makes a lot of sense.
However, in common with many country code domain registries (ccTLDs), the .uk domain registry collects and stores registrant data. As long as the UK was a member of the European Union this did not cause extra headaches with respect to privacy, as the UK was subject to the same privacy rules as Ireland, namely GDPR.
From January 1st 2021 the UK will have exited the European Union completely. Deal or no deal it will be considered a “3rd country”. We’ve talked about the various implications Brexit will have on domain names and hosting several times in the past.
With that in mind Nominet, the .uk domain registry, will be updating their policies effective January 1st 2021 in order to cover the new data protection relationship.
You can read all the details here, but to put it briefly Nominet had prepared a specific set of policies to deal with this eventuality which will be incorporated into our contract with them. You can read them here (PDF).
They’re relying on what’s called “standard contractual clauses” for the transfer of personal data from and to the EU. Essentially when you register, transfer or update a .uk domain name and as long as you hold the .uk domain(s) there will be transfer and processing of personal data by the .uk domain registry. They’re in the UK so with the UK leaving the EU these extra safeguards will come into play.