Potential Storms A-Brewin’ for Countries Enjoying the Calm of the EU Cyber Safe Harbor
EU law provides that personal data from the EU can only be transferred to countries that can ensure adequate protection of that data. The European Commission has authority to designate certain countries as “safe harbors” based on the domestic law of that country or that country’s international commitments. The EU Commission granted the United States safe harbor status. However, the European Court of Justice recently held that while the European Commission has authority to make these decisions, they are not binding on individual EU country regulators investigating complaints that a country does not have sufficient safeguards. This decision could open U.S. companies up to inquiries by individual EU states addressing concerns about data privacy.