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Safe Harbor declared invalid in groundbreaking European court decision: the impact for businesses

Overview

In a groundbreaking decision, the Court of Justice of the European Union has declared the US Safe Harbor scheme to be invalid, as well as confirming that individuals have the right to challenge any similar schemes that may be established by the European Commission through their national data protection authorities.


The US Safe Harbor framework was established 15 years ago to provide a mechanism by which European businesses could validly transfer personal data from the EU to the US. It is commonly adopted to support data transfers needed to support intra-group operations, for example to assist a US parent in managing EU based activities.


The decision will have a significant and immediate impact for any business relying on Safe Harbor to enable these operations to date and will require a change in approach to cross-border data transfers, as this DLA Piper briefing explains.


 

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