Department of Commerce Update on the Status of the Privacy Shield Replacement

On August 10, 2020, United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders issued a public statement confirming that talks are underway between the two bodies to instate an enhanced EU-U.S. Privacy Shield replacement framework. This proposed framework would specifically address concerns raised in the Court of Justice of the European Union judgment issued on July 16, 2020 in the Schrems II case, which determined that the framework no longer constituted a valid mechanism for data transfers from the European Union to the United States.

Both the United States and the European Union have a vested interest in facilitating these data transfers in such a way that provides the necessary privacy and security protections for this personal data but that also facilitates the robust transatlantic digital services trade worth hundreds of billions of dollars each year. To that end, implementation of a replacement framework is a very high priority for both the European side and the American side.

As discussions continue, keep in mind these additional key points from the Department of Commerce:

  • The Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework remains valid as a data transfer mechanism from Switzerland to the United States.
  • Though the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework is no longer considered a valid data transfer mechanism, the obligations of that framework that businesses agreed to when certifying are still binding and will be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, including the obligation to appoint an independent recourse mechanism (IRM) also known as a Privacy Shield dispute resolution service provider.
  • A participant’s withdrawal from the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework or a lapse in certification will trigger an additional set of obligations that the participating organization must comply with.

VeraSafe will be closely following all further reports and guidance relating to the Privacy Shield Framework and its possible replacement. If you have any questions about the Privacy Shield or other data transfer options, please contact VeraSafe today for a free consultation.

Contact VeraSafe to discuss your data security management and privacy program today.