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Archived updates for Tuesday, January 11, 2005

European Commission Approves Standard Clauses for Data Transfers to Non-EU Countries

The European Commission has approved a new set of standard contractual clauses which businesses can use to ensure adequate safeguards when personal data is transferred from the EU to non-EU countries. The new clauses, submitted by a business coalition, will be added to those already available under the Commission’s June 2001 decision (see IP/01/851). Use of standard contractual clauses offers companies and other organisations a straightforward means of complying with their obligation, under the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, to ensure "adequate protection" for personal data transferred outside the EU.

All these efforts are part of the Commission’s work programme for a better implementation of the Data Protection Directive (see IP/03/697), the results of which will be assessed by the Commission in 2005.

According to the IPKat on Januay 10, 2005, contractual clauses are not necessary to transfer data to Switzerland, Canada, Argentina and the UK territories of Guernsey and the Isle of Man, whose own regimes are recognised by the Commission as offering adequate data protection. Neither are they needed for transfers to US companies adhering to the "Safe Harbor Privacy Principles Issued By The U.S. Department Of Commerce On July 21, 2000."
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