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EU-US Privacy Shield – Status Report

If you are a resident of the European Union and a customer of ours, chances are you have been watching (or at least are aware of) the situation regarding data transfer policy between the EU and the US.

On October 6, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the “CJEU”) invalidated the European Commission’s Decision on the EU-US Safe Harbor arrangement, determining that the Commission’s finding that Safe Harbor was adequate was, in fact, inadequate. More on this decision may be found here.

On February 2, the US and the EU reached an agreement in principle to construct a framework to replace Safe Harbor and to reconcile differences between the laws of both governments. That framework has been named the EU-US Privacy Shield. In response to the agreement, the US Department of Commerce released a fact sheet, which we are making available as a pdf, here.

As the new framework promises to have farther reaching implications for how personally identifiable data is handled by third parties, we have contacted both of our current payment processors (Stripe and PayPal) for their comments. While we are still awaiting comment from PayPal, Stripe has responded that they, too, are monitoring the situation, but have not yet made any changes to their policies or procedures, pending more concrete guidance.

We want you to know that we take the privacy concerns of our customers very seriously, and we will continue to monitor this and any other legislation which may have an impact on doing business with us, whether you are located within the US or anywhere in the world. We believe that our current privacy policy remains in accord with the spirit of the new EU-US Privacy Shield as we anticipate it, but we will keep you apprised of the situation and will make adjustments as necessary.

More information and commentary on the EU-US Privacy Shield may be found on these sites:

Digital Media, Technology & Privacy Alert >> Agreement on EU-U.S. Privacy Shield to Replace Safe Harbor Faces Hurdles, Kibel, Gary A, Partner (Digital Media, Technology & Privacy), Davis & Gilbert, LLP, February 4, 2016.

Article 29 Working Party Reacts to the U.S.-EU Privacy Shield Agreement, Tielemans, Jetty and Steinhardt, Ezra (Data Privacy and Cybersecurity group), Covington & Burling LLP, February 2, 2016.