In October last year, the US Safe Harbor regime was invalidated by Europe’s Court of Justice, meaning that personal data of Europeans could no longer be transferred by a company to US companies solely on the basis of such companies being Safe Harbor-certified.
At the time of the ruling, no replacement for the Safe Harbor principle was proposed. The European Commission gave itself a 3-months term to come up with an alternative solution, working towards January 31, 2016. It is not likely that this timeline will be met but we expect new developments to be made public in the coming weeks.
There are alternatives to resolve the data residency issues that arise from this. These include: setting up servers within EU borders and keeping the data within those geographical areas, EU model contract clauses, or setting up explicit agreements with individual customers. All of these workarounds however may create certain disadvantages for some companies and some national privacy authorities doubt if the model clauses can facilitate legal EU-US data transfers.
Customers of LeaseWeb companies need not worry
Thanks to its business structure, there is no need for LeaseWeb to find a workaround. Over recent years the LeaseWeb brand has expanded in Europe, Asia and the US, setting up separate and distinct legal entities in each country in which it is active. Each of these LeaseWeb business companies only operates their infrastructure, within their own geographical area. Their LeaseWeb services are limited to making infrastructure available, and the LeaseWeb companies do not manage or control the data stored, transferred or otherwise processed by its customers. This means a LeaseWeb customer does not need to worry about their data being transferred beyond the geographical areas chosen by the customer. In this way customers can rest assured that their service will continue at the same high-quality level as before. In short, the ruling did not affect the delivery of service to customers of LeaseWeb companies.
This doesn’t mean, however, we can rest on our laurels. Data protection and privacy remains of the utmost concern to us.
LeaseWeb will follow the developments around EU-US data transfers closely, and take action when appropriate. This way we can provide our customers not only with reliable service, but also help them with making the right decisions for their company.
LeaseWeb is the brand name under which the various independent LeaseWeb companies operate. Each company is a separate and distinct entity that provides services in a particular geographic area. LeaseWeb Global Services B.V. does not provide third-party services. Please see www.leaseweb.com/en/legal for more information.