On September 21, 2023, the UK and the U.S. announced the UK extension to the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (DPF), which will come into effect on October 12. A new UK adequacy regulation provides that the UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology has determined that the U.S. provides adequate levels of protection for personal data in certain transfers and brings the UK within the DPF announced in July 2023. The U.S. Attorney General also designated the UK as a “qualifying state” under an Executive Order on September 18 for the purposes of the DPF. This means that on October 12, UK businesses will be able to transfer personal data to U.S. organizations self-certified under the DPF.
On July 10, 2023, the European Commission issued its Final Implementing Decision granting the U.S. adequacy (“Adequacy Decision”) with respect to companies that subscribe to the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (“DPF”).
The U.S. President and European Commission President announced in a joint press statement on March 25th, 2022 that an agreement “in principle” has been reached on a new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework (Privacy Shield Agreement 2.0). Once approved and implemented, the agreement would facilitate the transatlantic flow of personal data and provide an alternative data transfer mechanism (in addition to EU Standard Contractual Clauses and Binding Corporate Rules) for companies transferring personal data from the EU to the U.S. This is a welcome announcement for companies that have been dealing with the legal uncertainty of such data flows following the Schrems II decision in July 2020, which invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield 1.0 for international transfers of personal data.
*This article was first published by Law360 on January 3, 2022.
A recent discussion with Elizabeth Denham and Claudia Berg of the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office provided ample food for thought on the direction in which data protection regulation both in the U.K. and internationally is headed, including key trends to watch for in data protection.
On August 27, 2021, the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) formally recognized the new EU Standard Contractual Clauses published by the European Commission on June 4, 2021 (New SCCs). The New SCCs are intended to legitimize transfers of personal data from Switzerland to countries not deemed by the FDPIC as providing an adequate level of protection for personal data (cf. official statement) — thereby completing its guidance on international data transfers published on June 18, 2021. The aim of these documents is to reduce uncertainties in a post-Schrems II era and to help companies ensure the ongoing lawful transfer of personal data.
Please join Sidley’s Privacy and Cybersecurity Group for a two-part discussion with UK government officials with a focus on data transfer and innovation.
UK Data Protection and Data Transfers – New Directions
In this Chatham House discussion, our panelists will cover:
- Data Transfers to the U.S. and Developments on “Adequacy”
- G7 and OECD Data Protection Initiatives
- UK Regulation of Data and Promotion of Innovation
On August 26, 2021, the UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) published its mission statement setting out the UK approach to adequacy assessments and international data transfers, alongside a Manual Template and Manual Guidance for undertaking adequacy assessments and an infographic map illustrating ten priority countries forming part of that process. This release forms part of a broader package of measures announced by DCMS to “seize the opportunities of data to boost growth, trade and improve its public services” following the UK’s exit from the EU, which included an announcement that John Edwards (the current New Zealand Privacy Commissioner) is the Government’s preferred nominee to be the next UK Information Commissioner. (more…)
On 11 August 2021, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) launched a public consultation on its draft international data transfer agreement and guidance (Consultation). The Consultation comes two months after the European Commission’s adoption of new EU Standard Contractual Clauses (EU SCCs) and the European Data Protection Board’s publication of the final Schrems II guidance. The EU SCCs do not automatically apply in the UK since its exit from the EU. Moreover, the ICO has not yet formally acknowledged the EU SCCs, i.e., as a valid data transfer mechanism under the UK GDPR.
The European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”), adopted on 18 June 2021 its final recommendations describing how controllers and processors transferring personal data outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”) may comply with the Schrems II ruling (“Final Schrems II Recommendations”). The Final Schrems II Recommendations, together with the new Standard Contractual Clauses (“SCCs”) adopted by the European Commission on 4 June 2021, will now allow organizations to proceed with addressing international data transfers following the landmark Schrems II ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union in July 2020.
The Final Schrems II Recommendations have maintained the requirement to carry out a 6 Step assessment prior to transferring personal data outside the EEA in reliance on a data transfer tool, such as SCCs. However, there have been some important amendments from the draft recommendations published in November 2020 in order to:
- better align with the new SCCs recently adopted by the European Commission; and
- allow more flexibility in carrying out the assessment of third country laws in Step 3 by being able to take into account practice in the third country as well as the documented practical experience of the data importer.
Our previous blog post on the draft EDPB’s Schrems II recommendations – accessible here – provides further details on the 6 Step process that organizations should follow when transferring personal data from the EEA to a third country such as the U.S. Here we summarise some of the key differences in the 6 Steps as between the draft recommendations and the Final Schrems II Recommendations.
After months of anticipation, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has released its finalised recommendations (Recommendations) on how to carry out the required assessment of international data transfers post-Schrems II. In what is considered to be one of the most important documents for the future of data transfers, this development marks a turning point for international entities.
Continuing its series of webinars on the fallout since Schrems II, Sidley and OneTrust DataGuidance are hosting a panel discussion to provide insight on the EDPB’s Recommendations, how they differ from the draft version, and how entities can approach international data flows. (more…)