We thought it would be worthwhile to bring to the attention of our customer some changes regarding data protection, in case you may be affected by it. You should be aware that The Privacy Shield is now in effect. The shield is a new framework for the transfer of data between the US and the EU. It has replaced the much-criticized safe harbour agreement. Safe Harbour was abolished after concerns about US surveillance which was brought to light by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Some of the key changes to the Privacy Shield is that everyone knows what their data is used for. They can request what data is kept about them and change it if it is inaccurate. The agreement aims to achieve greater transparency, tightened conditions for onward transfers, more redress possibilities and sanctions or exclusion of companies if they do not comply. However many are still sceptical to how effective the framework is. Some claim the US still has a competitive edge as the EU has an opt-in formula and the US uses opt-out. This essentially means EU companies have to ask to use your data, whereas with US, you have to ask them not to use your data (opt-out).
They are having a review in a year in which means there will be no legal obligation to the framework until next year.
With the agreement still carrying some concerns, we don’t think there will be a rush of businesses signing up. There is a list available in the citizen’s guide that can determine which companies have signed up.
Whichever way you feel, the Privacy Shield is in effect and businesses can sign up at privacyshield.gov. If you have any concerns about how the Privacy Shield will affect you the European Commission has produced a legal text and a citizen’s guide.
If you are a customer of ours and think you might be affected by this, please contact us and we will do our best to advise you.