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European Court of Justice invalidates U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework

In a landmark ruling that immediately impacts thousands of U.S. companies, the European Court of Justice ruled invalid the Safe Harbor Framework (“Framework”) that previously allowed U.S. companies to transfer personal data out of the European Union.

In its ruling last week, the court declared the Framework invalid because it fails to provide a level of protection for “the private lives and basic freedoms and rights of individuals” that is “essentially equivalent to that guaranteed within the EU.”

In invalidating the Safe Harbor Framework, the European Court of Justice concluded that the Federal Trade Commission failed to ensure U.S. companies’ compliance with the Framework’s requirements, the fundamental rights of EU citizens were undermined by U.S. intelligence agencies’ unfettered access to personal data, and that the Framework did not provide EU citizens with sufficient means to exercise their data protection rights or to challenge alleged violations.

Source: What Does the European Court of Justice's Invalidation of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework Mean For U.S.-Based Multinational Employers?, Littler Mendelson, P.C., 10/7/2015.  

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