EU-US Privacy Shield â 35 companies certified so far | DMA

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EU-US Privacy Shield â 35 companies certified so far


From the 1 August 2016 US organisations have been able to sign up for the EU-US Privacy Shield. Only 35 companies have signed up so far, indicating a slow start. The 35 number does not include many large multinational companies. It is rumoured that Google are currently in the process of signing up to the programme.

Safe Harbour – the previous agreement for EU-US data transfers – had over 5,500 companies registered. However, since Safe Harbour was struck by the European Court of Justice many companies began using model contract clauses or binding corporate rules as their legal ground for sending personal information from theEU to the US. Many may still be doing so, hence the slow take-up of Privacy Shield.

The Department of Commerce, the US government department responsible for Privacy Shield, is currently processing a further 200 applications from US organisations.

The EU-US Privacy Shield is underway and able to be used and trans-Atlantic data transfers are emerging from a period of uncertainty. However, this may not last long as the Privacy Shield agreement will almost certainly be challenged in the courts. Just like Safe Harbour was by the Austrian law student, Max Schrems.

In Germany, Hamburg’s data protection authority is weighing up whether to challenge the EU-US Privacy Shield itself. Max Schrems is rumoured to also believe that the programme is not up to scratch and may decide to take another case to the courts.

The DMA will keep members updated on the latest Privacy Shield news.

To learn more about the future of data protection policy book a place at the DMA’s Data Protection 2016 Update.

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