Source: istockphoto.com/Danil Melekhin Enlarge

© Source: istockphoto.com/Danil Melekhin

State Secretary Machnig invited representatives of the data protection authorities of the federal and Länder governments and business representatives to another round table discussion today on the repercussions of the Safe Harbour ruling. The meeting was held in the light of the political agreement between the European Commission and the United States on the "EU-U.S. Privacy Shield", which was announced on 2 February 2016. The details of the agreement on the rules for data transfer from the EU to the U.S. are still being worked out.

State Secretary Machnig said: "The political agreement between the European Commission and the U.S. administration on the new EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is an important signal both for data protection and for business. The new agreement is designed to put new security mechanisms in place for the protection of personal data and to improve legal certainty for the companies affected. Both issues are key aspects of the digital transformation of business and society. It is now important for the agreements to be reliably implemented and complied with in practice."

The European Commission is currently preparing an "adequacy decision", which is to provide the new legal basis in future for data transfers by EU companies to the United States. The Article 29 Working Party of the national data protection authorities still has to be involved, as do the EU Member States. Irrespective of this, the number of services offering data security in conformity with data protection rules, e.g. in the cloud, is increasing in Europe, and particularly in Germany.