Global Reach of the General Data Protection Regulation

By Michiel Teekens, TeekensKarstens advocaten notarissen

Ever since the Court of Justice declared the Safe Harbour Principles invalid (Maximillian Schrems/Data Protection Commissioner, Judgment in Case C-362/14) transatlantic data transfers have formally been compromised. In short, it is extremely uncertain if crossborder data transfers from the EU to the US can actually be compliant with the relevant EU regulations.

The EU-US privacy shield should have brought some relief, but critics claim it won’t hold before the Court of Justice. Recent developments, such as President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban which includes an attempt to exclude privacy protection for refugees and immigrants (Sec 14, Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States, January 25, 2017), fuels that criticism.

The EU is also moving forward on its own in another direction with the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (GDPR) which replaces the Directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data (95/46/EC). The GDPR applies to controllers and processors established in the EU, but also to non-EU controllers and processors who target or monitor EU data subjects. Therefore the scope and effects of the GDPR are global and can also apply to US companies and organisations.

The GDPR contains an elaborate legal system for data protection, such as data subject consent, profiling limitations, data anonymisation, breach notification, trans-border data transfer requirements and the mandatory appointment of data protection officers, to name a few. Penalties are severe. The GDPR authorises regulators to levy substantial fines in amounts exceeding EUR 20 million or 4% of annual global turnover.

Michiel Teekens

Michiel Teekens

TeekensKarstens advocaten notarissen, Leiden, The Netherlands
T: +31 71 535 80 00
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Michiel Teekens is an (international) corporate and commercial litigator and active GGI participant at the GGI EasyMeets. He is also a member of the International Dispute Resolution Practice Group. Furthermore, through GGI he participated in the Global Village on the Move 2012 programme.

TeekensKarstens attorneys and notaries (TK) is the largest legal services provider in the Rijnland area of the Netherlands, which is centrally located between Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, and just fifteen minutes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. From its offices in Leiden and Alphen aan den Rijn, more than fifty lawyers and (candidate) notaries operate and provide full services to predominantly large and medium enterprises, (semi-) public sector companies and individuals hailing from the Netherlands and beyond.

Published: Winter 2017 l Photo:  kjekol - 

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