Deal Struck to Maintain the Transatlantic Data Flow 

Two days after the expiration of a deadline set by Europe’s data protection authorities, and after months of negotiations, the European Commission and U.S. Department of Commerce reached an understanding that intends to allow transatlantic transfer of digital data by thousands of companies to continue. With data flows impacting billions of dollars in bilateral trade at stake, the so-called “privacy shield” agreement “makes existing cooperation between the FTC and E.U. DPAs [data protection authorities] more robust, with better enforcement mechanisms and means of redress for E.U. citizens whose privacy rights may have been infringed by E.U.-U.S. cross border transfers,” Davina Garrod, a London-based Akin Gump partner told Cybersecurity Law Report. However, she added that “the shield is by no means a panacea, and does not fix all of the problems identified by the [E.U. Court of Justice] in the Schrems judgment” that invalidated the previous safe harbor data transfer pact. We discuss the agreement, the important steps that remain before the privacy shield can be finalized, and the immediate impact on companies. See also “Dangerous Harbor: Analyzing the European Court of Justice Ruling” (Oct. 14, 2015).

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