February 14, 2018

4th German-American Data Privacy Day

On December 7, 2017 the vbw held the 4th German-American Data Privacy Day in cooperation with the United States Consulate General Munich and the Bavarian Data Protection Authority (BayLDA). Around 150 participants met with representatives from the US, the EU, German supervisory authorities and businesses to discuss the challenges of data transfer between Germany and the US as well as future trends.

What is in store for transatlantic data privacy?

The discussion revolved around transatlantic data transfer in compliance with the EU-US Privacy Shield and in light of the Court of Justice of the European Union’s upcoming review of the standard contractual clauses for the transfer of personal data. vbw CEO Bertram Brossardt emphasized the importance of business relations between Bavaria and the US. He pointed out that being able to securely transfer data to the US was essential to the economy and welcomed the fact that the European Commission had in its initial assessment confirmed that the EU-US Privacy Shield framework provided for an adequate degree of data privacy.

Dr. Beate Merk, Bavarian Minister for European Affairs and International Relations, pointed out that the safe harbour decision had left many businesses with a feeling of uncertainty and that putting a stop to transatlantic data transfer would mean the end for many cloud services. She went on to thank the EU and the US for their persistence in the Privacy Shield negotiations.

Jennifer D. Gavito, U.S. Consul General in Munich, explained that in these times characterized by growing digitisation and increased use of artificial intelligence, businesses have the opportunity to take advantage of big data to help them stay innovative and competitive. She added that the real question was who will ultimately control this data. Ms Gavito also said that the Privacy Shield is a modern framework that can be used to effectively address the challenges involved in creating a balance between the protection of personal rights and freedoms, commercial interests and governmental regulations.

Participants in the panel discussion, which focused on the effectiveness of the controls and complaint notification systems in the US, the challenges many businesses face when it comes to compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation and the future of the standard contractual clauses for the transfer of personal data, included:

  • Ventsislav Karadjov, Vice-Chairman of the Artikel 29 Data Protection Working Party, Chairman of the Bulgarian Commission for Personal Data Protection
  • Renate Nikolay, Head of the Cabinet of Vera Jourova
  • Hugh Stevenson, Deputy Director Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • Jim Sullivan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
  • Alexander Filip, Head of the Department for International Data Processing at BayLDA
  • Julie Brill, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Global Privacy and Regulatory Affairs at Microsoft Corporation
    Dr. Mathias Lejeune, Senior Legal Counsel, Head of Legal IT of Airbus Defence and Space GmbH


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Kristina Fink

Arbeitsrecht, Datenschutz, Europarecht

Kristina Fink
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