Department of Commerce

On March 26, 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce posted an update on the actions it has taken between January 2017 and March 2018 to support the EU-U.S. and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Frameworks (collectively, the “Privacy Shield”). The update details measures taken in support of commercial and national security issues relating to the Privacy Shield. Continue Reading U.S. Department of Commerce Posts Update of Actions to Support the Privacy Shield Frameworks

On October 18, 2017, the EU Commission (“Commission”) released its report and accompanying working document on the first annual review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework (collectively, the “Report”). The Report states that the Privacy Shield framework continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data that is transferred from the EU to the U.S. It also indicates that U.S. authorities have put in place the necessary structures and procedures to ensure the proper functioning of the Privacy Shield, including by providing new redress possibilities for EU individuals and instituting appropriate safeguards regarding government access to personal data. The Report also states that Privacy Shield-related complaint-handling and enforcement procedures have been properly established.

Continue Reading EU Commission Releases Report on First Annual Review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework

Hunton & Williams LLP is pleased to announce that Lisa Sotto, chair of the firm’s top-ranked Global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice and managing partner of the firm’s New York office, has been selected as an arbitrator in connection with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework Binding Arbitration Program.

Continue Reading Lisa Sotto Selected as Arbitrator for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

On September 18, 2017, the European Commission (“Commission”) and U.S. Department of Commerce (“Department”) kicked off their first annual joint review of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (“Privacy Shield”).  To aid in the review, the Department invited a few industry leaders, including Hunton & Williams’ partner Lisa J. Sotto, who chairs the firm’s Global Privacy and Cybersecurity practice and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee, to speak about their experiences during the first year of the Privacy Shield.

Continue Reading Lisa Sotto Invited to Speak at Privacy Shield’s First Annual Joint Review

On February 20, 2017, the Article 29 Working Party (“Working Party”) issued a template complaint form and Rules of Procedure that clarify the role of the EU Data Protection Authorities (“DPAs”) in resolving EU-U.S. Privacy Shield-related (“Privacy Shield”) complaints. Continue Reading Article 29 Working Party Clarifies Process for Resolving Privacy Shield Complaints

On January 11, 2017, the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner announced that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce on a new Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield framework (the “Swiss Privacy Shield”), which will allow companies to legally transfer Swiss personal data to the U.S. The Swiss Privacy Shield will replace the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor framework, and according to the Swiss government’s announcement, will “apply the same conditions as the European Union, which set up a comparable system with the U.S. last summer,” referring to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. According to the announcement, “[t]he fact that the two frameworks are similar is highly significant, as it guarantees the same general conditions for persons and businesses in Switzerland and the EU/EEA area in relation to trans-Atlantic data flows.” A press release from the U.S. Department of Commerce states that the Department will begin accepting certifications on April 12, 2017, and additional information will soon be available here.

On January 4, 2017, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) announced the final release of NISTIR 8062, An Introduction to Privacy Engineering and Risk Management in Federal Systems. NISTIR 8062 describes the concept of applying systems engineering practices to privacy and sets forth a model for conducting privacy risk assessments on federal systems. According to the NIST, NISTIR 8062 “hardens the way we treat privacy, moving us one step closer to making privacy more science than art.” Continue Reading NIST Releases Privacy Engineering and Risk Management Guidance for Federal Agencies

On October 19, 2016, the International Trade Administration issued a press release reaffirming the commitment of both the U.S. Department of Commerce and Japan’s Personal Information Protection Commission (the “PPC”) to continue implementation of the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (“CBPR”) system in order to foster the protection of personal information transferred across borders. According to the press release, the PPC’s “recent decision to recognize the system as a mechanism for international data transfers in the implementing guidelines for Japan’s amended privacy law marks an important milestone for the development of the APEC CBPR system in Japan.” Going forward, both agencies also have committed to cooperate in raising awareness and encouraging other APEC member economies to implement the CBPR system. Continue Reading U.S. and Japan Commit to Improve and Advance Cross-Border Privacy

On July 26, 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it has launched a new website that provides individuals and companies with additional information regarding the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework (“Privacy Shield”). Among other things, the website provides information about complying with, and self-certifying to, the Privacy Shield’s principles. The Department of Commerce’s website will begin accepting certifications on August 1, 2016.

On July 12, 2016, after months of negotiations and criticism, the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield (“Privacy Shield”) was officially adopted by the European Commission and the Department of Commerce. Similar to the Safe Harbor, companies must certify their compliance with the seven principles comprising the Privacy Shield to use the Shield as a valid data transfer mechanism. Hunton & Williams partner Lisa J. Sotto and associate Chris D. Hydak recently published an article in Law360 entitled “The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: A How-To Guide.” In the article, Lisa and Chris detail the Privacy Shield principles, the benefits of certification, how the Shield will be enforced, and the challenges and risks associated with the future of the Privacy Shield.

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