As negotiators for the US Department of Commerce (“DOC”), Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), and the European Commission move toward an agreement intended to allow continued US-EU data transfers, a closer look at the history of “Safe Harbor” and the proposed “Privacy Shield” framework leaves some questions unanswered.

Safe Harbor Invalidation
Under EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC (the “Directive”), personal data controlled in the EU may be transferred to countries outside the EU only when an “adequate level of protection” is guaranteed. From 2000 to 2015, thousands of companies achieved this adequacy status through the US-EU “Safe Harbor” framework, an annual certification process approved by the European Commission and made available to US companies subject to the jurisdiction of the FTC or Department of Transportation…..privacyshield