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EU Commission Releases new Standard Contractual Clauses

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We have been waiting for the European Commission to update the standard contractual clauses to make them in line with the GDPR requirements for a while.


Today, (June 4 2021), the European Commission adopted two sets of standard contractual clauses, one for use between controllers and processors and one for the transfer of personal data to third countries. They reflect new requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and take into account the Schrems II judgement of the Court of Justice, ensuring a high level of data protection for citizens.

These new tools will offer more legal predictability to European businesses and help, in particular, SMEs to ensure compliance with requirements for safe data transfers, while allowing data to move freely across borders, without legal barriers.


The main innovations of the new standard contractual clauses:

Update in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
One single entry-point covering a broad range of transfer scenarios, instead of separate sets of clauses;
More flexibility for complex processing chains, through a ‘modular approach' and by offering the possibility for more than two parties to join and use the clauses;
Practical toolbox to comply with the Schrems II judgment; i.e. an overview of the different steps companies have to take to comply with the Schrems II judgment as well as examples of possible ‘supplementary measures', such as encryption, that companies may take if necessary


There is a transition period of 18 months forcontrollers and processors that are currently using previous sets of standard contractual clauses.

These standard contractual clauses are adopted at a moment where a number of regional organisations and third countries are developing or have issued their own standard contractual clauses on the basis of converging principles. The Commission will intensify its cooperation with these international partners to further facilitate data transfers between different regions of the world.


For the full press release and further information: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_2847

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