WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Financial watchdogs from North America, Britain and Asia are urgently seeking a formal exemption from the European Union’s tough new data privacy law to avoid hampering cross-border investigations, regulatory officials told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO – Andrea Jelinek, the head of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), a new European body created to enforce the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), gives a news conference on the day the European data privacy regulation enters into force, in Brussels, Belgium, May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

Failure by the EU to explicitly exempt markets regulators from the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) could jeopardize international probes and enforcement actions in cases involving market manipulation and fraud, the officials warned.

The new rules, which came into force on May 25, have been several years in the making but lobbying by foreign regulators and their key international body has intensified over the past year with multiple meetings on both sides of the Atlantic as the law’s launch has approached, three people said.

The new EU law strengthens personal data privacy rights in the bloc, giving consumers greater control over their personal information.

(Graphic: tmsnrt.rs/2DhT0XL)

It also narrows an exemption for cross-border personal data transfers made in the “public interest” by imposing new conditions, including extra privacy safeguards, on its use, said the officials and legal experts.

Under the previous law, regulators used the exemption to share vital information, such as bank and trading…