German-American Data Protection Day – New insights on Privacy Shield

Frank Schemmel

On April 22 the “German-American Data Protection Day” was held in Munich. Among other top-level speakers, such as Jennifer D. Gavito (United States Consul General in Munich), Julie Brill (former Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission) and Ted Dean (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration), Prof. Dr. Martin Selmayr (Head of Cabinet, EU Commission) took to the stage to deliver new insights into the Commission’s views on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, following the Article 29 Working Party’s (WP29) opinion on the proposed transatlantic data-transfer mechanism on 13 April 2016.

The Commission is eager to implement the recommendations from the WP29 opinion, into the Commission’s adequacy decision, by the end of June. The Commission expects that the adequacy decision will be challenged before the CJEU, and that the CJEU will pass its judgement, within 18 to 24 months. According to Prof. Dr. Selmayr, the Commission predicts, “at a confidence level of over 50 per cent”, that the Commission’s new adequacy decision will meet the requirements set out in CJEU’s Schrems ruling.

Another speaker, Thomas Kranig (Head of DPA of Bavaria), mentioned that the current situation forces companies to decide between two conflicting legal systems and that this clash must be resolved as soon as possible. He stated that, at least in the opinion of the DPA of Bavaria, Model Clauses and BCRs remain valid instruments for data transfers to the U.S.

A detailed summary of the event and the speeches given can be accessed here (German language only).

Prof. Dr. Selmayr’s comments show that the Commission itself is not overly confident about its upcoming revised adequacy decision. Therefore, uncertainty regarding the legitimacy of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield remains.

If you have any questions about this blog post please contact bastian.renner@allenovery.com.

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