How did Safe Harbour work for you? | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


How did Safe Harbour work for you?


We have been asked by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to ask you, our members, about how you and your businesses used the Safe Harbour agreements before they were declared invalid in October 2015

Take the survey

'Safe Harbour' permitted US technology firms to process the data owned by European citizens outside the EU. Safe Harbour assured the EU that US firms would protect consumer data, and to European standards.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) declared the Safe Harbour agreement invalid in October, triggered by the ongoing revelations revealed by former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) worker Edward Snowden, who revealed details of the National Security Agency (NSA) approach to digital surveillance.

He revealed that US firms have no way to turn down NSA requests to access consumer data. This showed that US firms could not meet those EU standards.

The decision could be a problem for European marketers, as data held by US firms may not now be processed legally. But our advice remains the same - look at alternative arrangements, but don't panic. The EU expects to begin enforcement from February1 2016. The Information Commissioner's Office also holds this view.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the minister responsible for data protection at The Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), has asked us for the opinions of our members on this decision.

The DCMS wants to know how your business used Safe Harbour; what alternative measures you might have taken since it was made invalid; and what impact the ECJ decision means for the operation or administration of your business.

We will share your anonymised opinions with DCMS.

You can take our survey here

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.