After the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) held that the Safe Harbour decision is invalid (see here
), all transfers of personal data that are still taking place under the decision are unlawful. So the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) in its September 16, 2015 statement after the ECJ’s Schrems decision.
The Woking group also opines that the Schrems’ decision also means that “transfers to third countries where the powers of state authorities to access information go beyond what is necessary in a democratic society will not be considered as safe destinations for transfers.” No discount for anybody on sight here.
The WP29 considers that “it is absolutely essential to have a robust, collective and common position on the implementation of the judgment” and It “urgently call[s]… on the Member States and the European institutions to open discussions with US authorities in order to find political, legal and technical solutions enabling data transfers to the territory of the United States that respect fundamental rights”.
The Working group allows businesses some time, however: “if by the end of January 2016, no appropriate solution is found with the US authorities and depending on the assessment of the transfer tools by the Working Party, EU data protection authorities are committed to take all necessary and appropriate actions, which may include coordinated enforcement actions”.
The WP29 also gives some practical suggestions to businesses reminding that “Standard Contractual Clauses and Binding Corporate Rules can still be used”. See here for more information on these alternatives.
The WP29 is an “independent advisory body on data protection and privacy” composed of representatives from the national data protection authorities of the EU Member States, the European Data Protection Supervisor and the European Commission.
For more information, Francesca Giannoni-Crystal