Archive: February 2016

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The New EU-US Privacy Shield: a New Deal on Personal Data Transfers
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Safe Harbor 2.0 is Coming (This Week)

The New EU-US Privacy Shield: a New Deal on Personal Data Transfers

By Bruce J. Heiman, Michael J. O’Neil, Ignasi Guardans, Etienne Drouard

On February 2, two days after the deadline set by Europe for agreement on a new Safe Harbor governing US access to the personal data of European citizens, US and EU negotiators announced that they had agreed upon a framework for a new data sharing agreement, which will be called the EU-US Privacy Shield, to replace the Safe Harbor agreement struck down by the European Court of Justice on October 6, 2015.

US companies adhering to the EU-US Privacy Shield, which has yet to be formally adopted by both the EU Commission and the US Department of Commerce, will be able to receive, store and use personal data from Europe according to its terms.

The key elements of the EU-US Privacy Shield, which aims to assure that US protections of European personal data will be essentially equivalent to that provided in Europe, will be:

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Safe Harbor 2.0 is Coming (This Week)

US companies will need to take action to comply with any new agreement

By Bruce J. Heiman, Ignasi Guardans, Etienne Drouard

As we explained in detail in our Explanatory note of October 6 2015, and the webinar that followed held on October 9, the Schrems decision of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) invalidated the US Safe Harbor program, and as a result of that most transfers of European personal data to the US done under that scheme became potentially illegal, if not covered by other legal options as described below.

Subsequently, Europe’s national Data Protection Authorities (DPAs), through the so called Article 29 Working Group, declared their intention not to bring enforcement actions against such EU – US data transfers before February 1, in order to give the US and EU time to reach a new agreement that could meet the objections raised by the CJEU.

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