EU and US agree data-transfer deal to replace Safe Harbour

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The EU and US have agreed a new pact to make it easy for organisations to data-transfer across the Atlantic.

The agreement should head off the threat that both tech giants and smaller companies would be unable to send personal information for processing in US data centres.

It follows a court ruling last year that invalidated an earlier data transfer mechanism called Safe Harbour.

The announcement was welcomed by a business lobby group.

“The (EU)European Commission and US Administration must now show total commitment to implementing this agreement and getting trans-Atlantic data flows back onto a secure and stable legal footing,” said Antony Walker, deputy chief executive of TechUK.

“Businesses large and small across Europe need reliable and affordable legal mechanisms to enable the data transfers that underpin their operations and ability to serve customers.

“The fact that EU and US negotiators have worked day and night for several months to secure this agreement reflects how important transatlantic data flows are to the global digital economy.”

The deal coincides with a two-day meeting of EU data protection watchdogs in Brussels.

Many had predicted the regulators would block transfers that had been authorised by the earlier Safe Harbour pact as well as by other legal contracts.

 

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