July 2016

Boulder Associate Chris Achatz was quoted July 18 by Law Week Colorado concerning Privacy Shield, the European Union’s recently approved agreement between EU member states and the U.S. that will permit transatlantic transfer of personal data. The agreement, released in February, was created to replace the Safe Harbor framework, which allowed U.S. companies to self-certify compliance with the EU’s 1995 Data Protection Directive, and was deemed insufficient in October 2015. Though the new framework limits U.S. government access to certain data, raises data protection standards and grants EU citizens the right to file complaints regarding mishandling of their data, critics remain skeptical of its advantages over model contract clauses. Achatz suggested that companies gauge authorities’ responses to the blanket agreement, which might present legal challenges, though the new framework has its perks. “In the wake of the Brexit vote and other political turbulence in Europe, the European Court of Justice may be more reluctant to hand down rulings that upset the status quo,” said Achatz, adding that the Privacy Shield is held accountable by an annual review mechanism, which will allow the framework “to evolve over time.”