Written By Digital Content Editor Thomas Ahearn
On July 17, 2023, the United States (U.S.) government launched the Data Privacy Framework (DPF) Program Website to enable eligible U.S. companies to self-certify participation in the EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework (EU-U.S. DPF) to facilitate cross-border transfers of personal data in compliance with European Union (EU) law.
“With trans-Atlantic data flows estimated to underpin more than $1 trillion in trade and investment annually, the EU-U.S. DPF provides a necessary mechanism to support economic opportunity for U.S. businesses of all sizes across all sectors of the economy,” according to a U.S. Department of Commerce press release.
To participate, companies must self-certify and publicly commit to comply with the EU-U.S. DPF Principles, which are enforceable under U.S. law. They can also self-certify compliance with the UK Extension to the EU-U.S. DPF and/or the Swiss-U.S. DPF Principles. Eligible companies can sign up at DataPrivacyFramework.gov.
Companies that participate in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield may begin relying immediately on the EU-U.S. DPF to receive personal data transfers from the European Union/Economic Area but will need to self-certify to the EU-U.S. DPF by October 10, 2023. Companies interested in self-certifying should review DPF program requirements.
The DPF program website comes after years of negotiation to reestablish a mechanism for transfers of EU personal data to the U.S. after the European Commission’s adequacy decision for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield was invalidated by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in 2020 due to concerns regarding U.S. intelligence.
In October 2022, U.S. President Joe Biden issued Executive Order (EO) 14086 to bolster privacy and civil liberties safeguards with regard to U.S. signals intelligence. EO 14086 provides stronger safeguards and creates a new redress mechanism to fully address the concerns raised by the CJEU in July 2020.
On July 10, 2023, the EU adopted an adequacy decision for the EU-U.S. DPF after determining that the additional safeguards in EO 14086 and EU-U.S. DPF provide an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred from the EU. The decision allows the EU-U.S. DPF to facilitate the transfer of data from Europe to America.
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