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On February 20, 2024, The Centre for Information Policy Leadership at Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP  (“CIPL”) and Theodore Christakis, Professor of International, European and Digital Law at University Grenoble Alpes, released a comprehensive study titled The “Zero Risk” Fallacy: International Data Transfers, Foreign Governments’ Access to Data and the Need for a Risk-Based Approach. In the study, Prof. Christakis makes the case that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and EU law, more generally, allow a more nuanced and risk-based approach to data transfers than the restrictive approach often applied. CIPL and Prof. Christakis provide an approach that outlines data protection measures that are proportionate to the risks at hand, and takes into account the nature of the data, the likelihood of access by foreign governments, and the severity of the potential harm.

CIPL has worked on projects promoting solutions for safe cross-border data transfers. The paper will contribute to the constructive momentum that has been building among multiple stakeholders and countries, to create pragmatic and long-term solutions for accountable, trusted and sustainable international data transfers.