Transfer of personal data between the United States and Europe
The German Federal Government has confirmed in an answer to a question in parliament that it is pushing for a new agreement with the United States concerning the exchange of data. The previous “safe harbour” agreement had been declared invalid in a judgement by the European Court of Justice. The European Commission has negotiated a new agreement – termed privacy shield – with the US government, but this has yet to come into force. The European Commission will be presenting the proposals on 7 April.
Until a new agreement is reached, transfer of personal data from a European company to one based in the United States, or indeed within companies with subsidiaries in both the United States and Europe is no longer covered by a general agreement. Any companies wishing to store, process and transfer personal data must obtain explicit consent from the subjects of the personal data. In particular for smaller and start up companies looking to operate internationally, this will add an extra layer of complexity to their business. The problems can be overcome with appropriate advice.