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Europe's privacy regulators respond to Safe Harbour ruling

The leaders of Europe's Data Protection Authorities (the Article 29 Working Party) issue a three month deadline for a new agreement on EU-US data transfer deal.

Following the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on Safe Harbour Europe's data protection authorities, the Article 29 Working Party, met last week to discuss implications of the ruling and co-ordinate a common approach at a European and national level.

The Working Party has issued a joint statement, the highlights of which are below:

  • The Working Party underlined that the question of massive and indiscriminate surveillance is a key element of the Court's analysis.
  • The Working Party is urgently calling on the Member States and the European institutions to open discussions with US authorities in order to find political, legal and technical solutions to EU-US data transfers
  • Solutions could be found through the negotiations of an intergovernmental agreement providing stronger guarantees to EU data subjects.
  • Europe's data protection authorities consider that Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC) and Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) can still be used.
  • However, this will not prevent individual data protection authorities investigating particular SSC or BCRs on the basis of complaints, and to exercise their powers in order to protect individuals.
  • The Working Party have given EU and US authorities a three month deadline to provide a new legal framework. If by the end of January 2016 no solution is found EU data protection authorities are committed to take all necessary and appropriate actions, which may include coordinated enforcement actions.

techUK is working with the UK Information Commissioner's Office to determine what practical advice it can offer industry to provide legal clarity and certainty.

 >>> techUK has joined more than 20 major European industry groups in sending a joint letter to European Commission President Juncker following the Court of Justice of the European Union's (CJEU) recent ruling on the EU-US Safe Harbour agreement

>>> techUK CEO Julian David met with EU Vice President Andrus Ansip and Commissioners Guntther Oettinger and Vera Jourova to discuss the ruling and highlighted the need for legal clarity and certainty in the wake of ruling.

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