Swiss-US Privacy Shield
On January 11, 2017, the United States and Switzerland announced the Swiss-US Privacy Shield for the transfer of personal data between the two countries.
Replacing the existing US-Swiss Safe Harbor framework, the new deal applies the same conditions as the EU for sending personal data from Switzerland to companies based in the United States. The changes include the stricter application of data protection principles by participant companies, and improved management and supervision of the framework by the US authorities.
“American companies that process data can obtain certification under the Swiss-US Privacy Shield regime and thereby make themselves subject to its rules. Switzerland will recognize these companies as having adequate data protection standards,” a Swiss government statement said.
The Swiss-US Privacy Shield will replace the US-Swiss Safe Harbor framework immediately. However, to give companies the time needed to review the new framework, the US Department of Commerce announced that it will begin accepting Privacy Shield certifications from April 12, 2017.
US to uphold Privacy Shield for the time being
Last week, the incoming US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said at a hearing before the US Senate Committee that he will uphold the Privacy Shield agreement. However, he hinted that this might change in the future.
“The agreements that exist obviously exist, but I think going forward there will be a tension between privacy on one hand and problems of localization and data and the implications that they have for the internet as we go forward,” Ross said.
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