As most of you who have an interest in Data Protection know, in October 2015, the European Court of Justice passed a judgement declaring the EU-US Safe Harbor Agreement “invalid” (see more information here: http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/). The lack of “trust” following the NSA debacle in the US no doubt had an impact on the decision. However, with the exponential growth of the internet globally, more emphasis will be placed on data protection across more countries and regions to come.
This change effectively means that any transfer of personal data from the EU to the US must now adhere to much stricter protocols around compliance. In order for an EU based company to move any contacts outside of its borders, a contract needs to be drawn up and signed by the two parties declaring how they’ll be managing personal data. Inefficient to say the least.
This created huge issues in the SaaS industry, with personal data literally being moved around the world every millisecond. This affected:
There’s still a long way to go before a resolution is worked out. But the good news is that the first steps have been taken by the EU parliament in ratifying the new Data Protection Regulations, which are due to come into effect by July 2016. The key changes are:
Further details will be released soon, but for the most part many businesses will not be affected providing they already adhere to their obligations around personal data management. Here are a few quick pointers to ensure you’re being compliant – even if you aren’t handling any EU based contacts:
All these items should be common sense, but it always pays to have a refresher. It might also be an opportune time for you to perform an audit on your own data protection practices to ensure you are actually compliant.
Stay tuned for further updates leading up to the implementation of the new EU Data Protection Regulations.
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