EU-US Privacy Shield enters into effect

13. Juli 2016 – On 12 of July 2016 the European Commission formally adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield: a new framework governing the transfer of personal data between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US). In October 2015, the longstanding EU-US Safe Harbor Framework was held invalid by the Court of Justice of the European Union on concerns over US surveillance (see our news 7.10.2015).

Firms will be able to sign up as soon as August to the new framework, which shall ensure a higher data protection level for transfers of personal data from the EU to the US compared to the previous Safe Harbor Framework (for more details, cf. news 3.02.2016).

The new EU-US Privacy Shield is not directly applicable in Switzerland and thus cannot be used for transfers of personal data from Switzerland to a recipient based in the US. However, it is generally expected that a new similar, but separate “Privacy Shield”-type arrangement will be negotiated between Switzerland and the US, eventually facilitating data transfers from Switzerland to the US.