You have probably heard that recently, the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield has been announced as a replacement for the Safe Harbor Agreement. However, it has emerged that the EU are still not happy with the final text of the agreement as it is “too complex … and therefore ineffective”, meaning that the agreement does not sufficiently protect EU citizens’ rights!
The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party have outlined a number of serious concerns about the agreement in a formal response [PDF]. A review, as reported by online tech publication, The Register, is due to take place in July 2017 to see if “the safeguards provided under the EU-US Privacy Shield are workable and effective". So this could mean that, when the one-year grace period is over, if the points of concern have not been addressed it will be overturned.
Before 2017, it’s worth keeping a close eye on data privacy rules and to ask yourself – are you doing everything you can to safeguard your data? A solution, to ensure that your data and any data you collect and store in the cloud can only be accessed by you and no one else, could be to use a supplier who is headquartered in the UK and stores and backs up data there as well.
Next Steps for the Privacy Shield
The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield will, all being well, hold up for a year at least. However, the reason many organisations are still moving to UK online survey service providers is because data privacy is of paramount importance and there still appears to be major concerns. Ask yourself, even though your current systems may be legally compliant, is it good business policy to put data you hold in any kind of jeopardy?
You have a window of opportunity to choose the right online application to collect, store and process data. If you opt to remain with a supplier that stores data in the US and the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is invalidated in a year then the best case scenario is that you’ll probably need to look for an alternative supplier and the worst case scenario, of putting your data at risk, doesn’t bear thinking about!
The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield faces a long road ahead to determine the proposed privacy protections meet European standards! In the meantime, asking the right questions of your hosting provider is vital to ensure you are compliant at every stage of the supply chain.
Contact us with any questions
If you would like to know more about the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and our data protection methods please contact our support team at 0800 0937 822 (Free UK number) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org