PL&B International E-news, Issue 33

  1. EU backs business-friendly data transfer contracts

1. EU backs business-friendly data transfer contracts

The European Commission is expected shortly to give official backing to a new set of contractual clauses that will help businesses meet their legal requirements when transferring personal data outside the European Union. The new clauses were drawn up by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and are seen as a more practical and business friendly alternative to the Commission's own contractual clauses, which have been the subject of much criticism from industry groups.

At an ICC meeting on October 26th, it was confirmed that the European Commission's Article 31 committee (a data protection working group representing EU member state governments) had approved the ICC clauses. Although not yet officially approved, the Article 31 decision represents a major breakthrough and the Commission is expected to rubber stamp the decision as soon as December this year.

Robert Bond, Partner at Faegre Benson Hobson Audley and member of the ICC model clauses task force, believes the ICC approach will encourage more business to take the contractual route when transferring personal data outside the EU. "Because it has been drafted by business people for business people…it sits more comfortably with clients," he said.

In December last year, the situation looked bleak after a report from the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (a group representing the EU data protection regulators) criticised the ICC clauses. According to Robert Bond the ICC has since made some 'cosmetic' changes to the document which he believes helped to sway the Article 31 committee's decision.

See the forthcoming October/November edition of PL&B International for a full report.

Click here for the ICC's website

For further details on the Privacy Laws & Business International Newsletter, please click here.

Copyright Privacy Laws & Business 2004