US pleased with 500 Privacy Shield certifications so far

“We are very pleased that participation in the EU-US Privacy Shield has exceeded expectations,” Shannon Coe from the US Department of Commerce said. Speaking at the international DPAs’ conference in Marrakesh yesterday, Coe confirmed that the department, which issues the certifications, has been very busy conducting reviews of applicants. “We reached our 500th company certification last week and are reviewing 1,000+ companies. We have received applications from the companies you would expect but there is interest across sectors including health and retail.”

Bruno Gencarelli, Head of the Data Protection Unit at the EU Commission, said that the Privacy Shield is a very important arrangement – a simple transfer tool with limited costs to companies. “It is a sustainable instrument. It has not been been easy to reach this solution and now we need to ensure that it complies with the EU Commission recommendations.”

“We believe that we have really enhanced the protections for individuals. One important area of improvement is that the Privacy Shield is a living document – there will be an annual review. Our system as well as the US system can evolve and change, and it is therefore a good idea to conduct a review.”

The session on the EU-US Privacy Shield was a side event at the Privacy Commissioners’ 38th International Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco on 20 October 2016. More coverage from this conference will be in the next issue of PL&B International Report. To subscribe, go to