In search of global data transfer solutions

The Osaka Track, launched by heads of governments under Japan’s G20 leadership in 2019, promotes Data Free Flow with Trust. The G7 Data Protection Authorities recently gathered to discuss how to further develop this concept. Obstacles are state surveillance and the lack of a federal level US privacy law. The US supports Japan’s initiative and is getting closer to reaching a new level of privacy protection. The US law proposal seems comprehensive – but it omits employee data and does not offer any protections for non-US residents.

In this issue, we report on the efforts made by Data Protection Authorities of the G7 countries, and the characteristics of the proposed US federal level privacy law. We now wait for the US Executive Order to be ready this week, which will make it possible for the EU to give its formal approval. The new Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework should make the situation much easier for companies in 2023. However, the EU’s ratification process could take many months to complete, and, as always, is at risk of a challenge to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

In a Keynote Speech at the G7 Roundtable, Wojciech Wiewiórowski, the European Data Protection Supervisor, emphasised trust and convergence. He also said that any agreements should foresee the circumstances for effective DPA cooperation (for example, joint investigations) without significant procedural obstacles.

The EU DPAs had some differing views over the reasoning for the recent Instagram fine by Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner but in the end the second-largest ever GDPR fine was issued. While Meta is expected to appeal, this decision sends a powerful message of what may lie ahead.

Elsewhere, Indonesia is to create a Data Protection Authority and adopt a new law and Argentina has just done so. We will publish a full analysis of Indonesia’s law in the December issue. We also report on adtech developments and ‘neobrowsers’ that allow consumers to convert information on their browsing habits to points and discounts.

Laura Linkomies
Editor, Privacy Laws & Business

October 2022