Commenting on the failure for the EU and US to reach an agreement for ‘Safe Harbor 2.0’, Mark Thompson, Privacy Practice Leader at KPMG, says: "Given the fundamental different cultural views on privacy between the EU to the USA it is not a surprise that there have been challenges getting to a “Safe Harbor 2.0” solution in the allotted time frames.
"This decision will act as a wake-up call to a lot of organisations, highlighting the importance of privacy and the increased level of regulatory scrutiny at a global level. Talks will continue and hopefully a robust “Safe Harbor 2.0” solution is not too far away.
“Whilst a number of companies have put in place robust activities to address the Safe Harbor issues, a significant number of businesses have been banking on a “Safe Harbor 2.0” solution and have not taken effective action to remediate. From a business risk perspective there is the option to “wait and see what happens”, but in reality organisations need to identify and plug Safe Harbor gaps quickly and take a pragmatic risk based approach. This needs to consider both the internal transfer to group companies in the USA, but also to vendors who are processing personal data on behalf of the organisation in the USA. With potentially up to 4% fines on the horizon with the New General Data Protection Regulation this is not something that as a senior executive I would not want to leave to chance.
“Personal information is one of the key inputs in the new industrial revolution and remains at the forefront of an ever increasing number of business activities. It is one of the most important business assets, which needs to be looked after and used in a responsible way. It's vital from a business perspective that both sides can come to an agreement on “Safe Harbor 2.0”, sooner rather than later.”
Notes to editors:
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KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a revenue of £1.96 billion in the year ended September 2015. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 174,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.