The General Data Protection Regulation entering into force on 25 May 2018 is not the only privacy revolution in store for the EU. The proposed ePrivacy Regulation is also generating greater and greater controversy and may change the shape of the internet as we know it.
The first year of functioning of the Privacy Shield programme will soon end. A review of the programme is scheduled for September 2017. It is designed to be a thorough verification of whether the programme meets the hopes pinned on it and effectively ensures adequate protection of personal data by American recipients of data registered for the programme. The review should also determine the future direction for development of the programme and identify areas requiring improvement.
On 12 July 2016 the European Commission adopted a decision under Directive 95/46/EC on the adequacy of the protection provided by the EU–US Privacy Shield, confirming that entities operating in the United States that meet the conditions specified in the Privacy Shield programme will be deemed to provide an adequate level of protection of personal data. This means that it will be permissible to forward personal data to such entities without the need to apply other mechanisms to ensure adequate protection of the data, such as binding corporate rules or approval of the data protection authority.
Work is underway on a General Data Protection Regulation for the EU. The changes expected in the new legislation will be important for outsourcing companies. Among the planned changes, there will be severe sanctions for violation of data protection regulations.
Invalidation of the Safe Harbour decision created a gap in the system for transfer of data from Europe to the US. The question arose of how to evaluate the legality of existing data transfer practices based on Safe Harbour, and what rules to apply in the resulting vacuum.
The Court of Justice has issued a judgment invalidating the European Commission’s Safe Harbour decision. This means that participation in the Safe Harbour programme by US entities is no longer grounds for European companies to transfer personal data of EEA citizens to the United States.