EU-US Safe Harbor

Data transfers in limbo – U.S. companies face fines by German data protection authorities

international data transfers

While EU regulators determine whether to adopt a new agreement for transfers of personal data from Europe to the United States to replace the invalid EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Framework, German data protection authorities have not been idly twiddling their thumbs.

Hamburg’s data protection commissioner, the head of one of 16 Federal German data protection authorities (“DPA”), announced in February that his agency is investigating Hamburg-based subsidiaries of large U.S. companies engaging in transfers of personal data of EU citizens to the U.S.

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Safe Harbor 2.0: Political Agreement Reached – The EU-US Privacy Shield

Safe Harbor

The European Commission has announced that it has reached a deal to replace the EU-US Safe Harbor framework that was declared invalid last year by the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”).  Heralded as the EU-US Privacy Shield (and colloquially referred to as, “Safe Harbor 2.0”), the framework should provide companies with clearer direction on safe transatlantic data transfer.

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Germany Permits Consumer Protection Associations to File Class Actions for Violations of Data Protection Law

International Privacy Law

On December 17, 2015, the German Parliament passed a new act which permits consumer protection associations, industry and commerce chambers or other approved business associations to file privacy class actions. The law is expected to become published and be in force shortly.

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EU Commission to Update Decisions Authorising Personal Data Transfers to Certain Countries Outside the EU

international

Last Friday (6 November 2015) the EU Commission issued a communication on the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US under the Data Protection Directive following the judgment by the Court of Justice in the Schrems case.

In addition to providing some welcome support for the use of data transfer mechanisms such as Model Clauses and BCRs, the communication also contains an important statement from the Commission that it intends to update the decisions it has previously made authorising personal data transfers to certain countries outside of the EU.

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EU Working Party Issues Statement on CJEU’s Invalidation of Safe Harbor Framework

Safe Harbor

The European Court of Justice’s (CJEU) recent decision striking down the EU-US Safe Harbor framework has created significant marketplace uncertainty and left companies scrambling for alternative cross-Atlantic data transfer mechanisms.

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