Recently, we briefed you on Safe Harbor ending and what that meant for email marketers. We told you new developments should be on the way soon. Well, they’re here. This week, the European Commission and the United States agreed on a new framework for transatlantic data flows: the EU-US Privacy Shield.

The new arrangement will include the following elements:

  • Strong obligations on companies handling Europeans’ personal data and robust enforcement: U.S. companies collecting personal data from European subscribers will need to commit to comprehensive requirements on how personal data is processed and individual rights are guaranteed. The Department of Commerce will monitor that companies publish their commitments, which makes them enforceable under U.S. law by the US. Federal Trade Commission. In addition, any company handling human resources data from Europe has to commit to comply with decisions by European DPAs.
  • Effective protection of EU citizens’ rights with several redress possibilities: This includes creating “functionally independent ombudsman” who will help citizens to resolve their complaints in case they find that their personal data is being misused. They can easily raise an inquiry or complaint and companies have to reply within a deadline.

Under the new agreement, an annual joint review will be conducted for all the US agencies accessing EU citizen’s data to ensure it remains fit for further years. It will be conducted by the EC and US department of commerce.

Undoubtedly, Privacy Shield has provided the much needed relief for many businesses that depend on online data transfer. Benchmark Email will continue to adhere to the updated policy and will provide full protection to its user’s data. For further clarification, feel free to contact us at