8 Ways To Secure Data During US-EU Privacy Fight - InformationWeek

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2/15/2016
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Lisa Morgan
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8 Ways To Secure Data During US-EU Privacy Fight

After months of legal uncertainty over transatlantic data flows, the European Commission and the US have agreed on a new framework called the EU-US Privacy Shield. But because no text is available yet, there's no way to interpret it. Here's what organizations need to know now.
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The Standard Contractual Clauses Are Vague 

Standard Contractual Clauses are one of the interim alternatives companies can use to protect themselves. Four model clauses are available for use that define the obligations of data importers and exporters. Two of them are designed for 'controllers,' and two are designed for 'processors,' although there is confusion about those designations. The model clauses must be adopted verbatim with few exceptions. However, the language of the clauses is extremely vague, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation. 
'Sometimes it's difficult to work out what certain things mean, and sometimes you just have to accept that if you're going to adopt these legally you need to adopt them 100%, without knowing what you're signing up to,' said Withers Bergman Partner Kenneth Mullen.
(Image: bkyst via Pixabay)

The Standard Contractual Clauses Are Vague

Standard Contractual Clauses are one of the interim alternatives companies can use to protect themselves. Four model clauses are available for use that define the obligations of data importers and exporters. Two of them are designed for "controllers," and two are designed for "processors," although there is confusion about those designations. The model clauses must be adopted verbatim with few exceptions. However, the language of the clauses is extremely vague, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

"Sometimes it's difficult to work out what certain things mean, and sometimes you just have to accept that if you're going to adopt these legally you need to adopt them 100%, without knowing what you're signing up to," said Withers Bergman Partner Kenneth Mullen.

(Image: bkyst via Pixabay)

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jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2016 | 1:29:43 PM
Limbo
If the way businesses have been sharing and protecting data between the US and our friends across the pond is now illegal and there's no text or usable guidance on what to do now, that puts a lot of companies in a really difficult place where they may not be able to make any decisions. I'm glad all of our business is solely within the US and we don't have to interact with foreign entities and potentially share, or not share, data.
LisaMorgan
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LisaMorgan,
User Rank: Moderator
2/17/2016 | 1:51:45 PM
Re: Limbo
It is a very uncomfortable time.  No one I talked to is expecting a magical solution.  They're expecting the Privacy Shield to be challenged and for the process to take longer than advertised because it's not just a business issue, it's a political issue.
jagibbons
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50%
jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/17/2016 | 1:58:23 PM
Re: Limbo
Political issues always take more time that business decisions.

Another angle for frustration is the fact that the EU court, as a body, can invalidate an agreement, but that the replacement agreement has to come from each of the EU member nations. It's going to be a long time before all the dust settles.
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