Government calms business nerves after the Safe Harbour ruling | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


Government calms business nerves after the Safe Harbour ruling


The meeting brought together big brands like Google and Facebook with various trade associations and other sector representatives.

The Deputy Information Commissioner, David Smith, kicked things off and stressed that businesses should not panic and rush to immediate solutions. There is too much uncertainty at the moment to decide anything final.

ICO advice remains to think about the risks involved in continuing to transfer data to the US and carefully record any action you take to mitigate risk. David Smith reiterated that the ICO do not plan to bring in any new rules until things are clearer.

The Article 29 Working Party – the grouping of European national data protection authorities – has agreed not to take any enforcement action to at least the end of January 2016 and re-examine the problem then. This not a deadline but when the ICO and the Working Party will look again at what they can do.

One of the major issues at the moment is the lack of guidance on what to do from the EU. Participants asked David whether there was a possibility of an EU guidance on how businesses should proceed. He did not think this was very likely considering the divergent views around Europe on Safe Harbour.

The hope is that with Safe Harbour now dead in the water political pressure will force the EU and US to make serious progress in arranging a workable Safe Harbour 2.0. This is the only way to fully resolve the current legal uncertainty for businesses.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe also appreciated that the ruling was seriously affecting SME’s, who do not have the legal resources to dedicate to solving this issue. She promised to focus efforts on SMEs and to help provide them with some legal certainty in the future.

The ICO will be issuing a press release later in the week, which the DMA will report on so stay tuned.

If you would like to learn more about the Safe Harbour then read the DMA’s official guidance.

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.