Data Privacy: 5 Lessons Learned from Safe Harbor's Demise

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Know the Timeline

Now that businesses are scrambling to accommodate these new privacy protections, understanding the timeline is crucial.

Again, the EU recently announced they would be giving companies a three-month grace period to establish compliance with new data sovereignty requirements. This means that by the end of January, European personal data cannot be processed or stored in the U.S. It also means that regulators plan to prosecute companies that fail to comply. This is not a case of empty words, and by issuing a deadline, the EU shows that they mean business. The countdown has begun, and CIOs need to be sure to mark their calendars and implement a solution ahead of the deadline, or suffer the consequences.

In October, the European Union's highest court struck down the "Safe Harbor" Privacy Principles, a provision that allowed for the sharing of European personal data between the EU and U.S. The verdict is meant to preserve EU citizens' inherent right to privacy given the reality of U.S. national security laws, specifically The Patriot Act, which provide the NSA nearly unilateral access to data managed by U.S. companies.

While this may be a win for privacy advocates, it has left almost 5,000 companies with no clear solution for legally transferring data between Europe and the U.S. Temporary workarounds such as the use of Model Clauses are inefficient, and are currently operating in a legal grey area until regulators take a firmer stance on acceptable practices. In this slideshow, Accellion outlines the top five lessons businesses need to learn from Safe Harbor, as well as how they can apply them to their business strategy.


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