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Data Privacy Sector

 

The EU adopted in May 2016 new data protection legislation called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  The GDPR entered into force in May 2016 and will be applicable after a two year transition period, i.e. as of May 25, 2018.  This legislation has a very broad scope and applies extraterritorially to U.S. companies regardless of their sector and regardless of whether they have physical presence in Europe - as long as they collect, transfer and/or process European personal data.  Relevant aspects for businesses could be in relation with the product/service itself (because its operation requires the use of data defined as personal data under EU law) and/or in relation with clients/business partners’ personal data management (e.g. HR data of European employees, clients’ information etc.). 

More information on the EU legislative framework: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/reform/index_en.htm

 

The GDPR also requires compliance for international personal data transfers.  The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework was designed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission to provide companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the European Union to the United States in support of transatlantic commerce.

More information on Privacy Shield: https://www.privacyshield.gov/welcome

For general inquiries about EU data privacy legislation, please send an email to: office.brusselsec@trade.gov.


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