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Safe-Harbor is now “Privacy Shield”

February 10, 2016

LockThe US Department of Commerce and European Commission issued press releases this week (Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016) that outline some key changes to the EU-US Safe Harbor; now dubbed the “Privacy Shield.”   This agreement replaces Safe Harbor which was declared invalid October 6, 2015.

Privacy Shield Summary

While the new accord still needs to be reviewed by the Article 29 Working Party and the College of Commissioners, but assuming it remains substantially the same, we can expect the following:

  • More stringent obligations on companies handling Europeans’ personal data and more robust enforcement
  • EU individuals will have access to multiple avenues to resolve concerns, including through alternative dispute resolution at no cost to the individual.
  • The Privacy Shield includes new contractual privacy protections and oversight for data transferred by participating companies to third parties or processed by those companies’ agents to improve accountability and ensure a continuity of protection.
  • Clear safeguards and transparency obligations on U.S. government access.  The US has agreed to an annual joint review with the EU, including with respect to national security access to personal data.

The details currently available are included in press releases issued by the European Commission and the US Department of Commerce; a summary and related links to the releases are here:

Global-Z expects the Commission and FTC will make the entire agreement publicly available soon. After our review of the fully-published agreement, Global-Z will provide you with another update. Importantly, US companies will need to review the new Privacy Shield program carefully before deciding to commit to it.

We will continue to keep you posted. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

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