After my previous blog last month we were still looking out for any news about solutions for the Safe Harbor invalidation. Since the press release of the EU US Privacy Shield, announced by the European Commission on February 2, 2016, we have seen many press articles and numerous links. So here is our update and recap on the timing of the EU US Privacy Shield and alternative solutions offered by Leaseweb.
EU US Privacy Shield in the making
We have known since October 2015 that the US Safe Harbor regime is invalid, meaning that personal data of Europeans can no longer be transferred by a company to US companies solely on the basis of such companies being Safe Harbor-certified. On February 3, 2016, the EU National Privacy Authorities – the W29 Workgroup – commented on the new arrangement for transatlantic data flows between the EU and US, the EU US Privacy Shield, to be laid down in the new framework agreement. In the coming weeks, while there’s still no replacement for Safe Harbor, further negotiations will take place between the EU and the US based on the W29 advice, which ideally should be finished by March 2016. Stricter regimes for US companies to comply with governmental measurements will be part of the requirements. During February, the National Privacy Authorities will also evaluate whether the legal status of the currently proposed EU model clauses will continue to be allowed. Finally, the European Member States (28) will need to approve the EU US Privacy Shield agreement with the US.
Leaseweb alternative solutions
In the meantime, Leaseweb companies offer solid alternative solutions to resolve transatlantic data flow issues thanks to the design of its network and services. The solution Leaseweb offers is based on setting up servers within EU borders and keeping the data within those geographical areas. Over recent years the Leaseweb brand has expanded in Europe, Asia and the US, as separate and distinct legal entities in each country in which we are active. Our business structure is based on each Leaseweb business company only operating their infrastructure within their own geographical area. Our services to customers are limited to making infrastructure available, and therefore Leaseweb companies do not manage or control the data stored, transferred or otherwise processed by customers. In short, the Safe Harbor invalidation did not affect the delivery of Leaseweb service to our customers. This will remain unchanged even after the new EU US Privacy Shield becomes effective. Meanwhile we continue to offer sound solutions for EU US compliance and our customers can rest assured that their service will continue at the same high-quality level as before.
We will keep an eye on the progress of the situation to keep you informed about any new developments and what they mean for Leaseweb customers in our next blog.