S2 Grupo urges to review contracts with cloud providers to guarantee the protection of personal data against the US
- If so, they need to have updated their conditions according to the decision of the CJEU to meet the requirements of the GDPR.
Valencia, August 25, 2020.- The Valencian company S2 Grupo, specialized in cybersecurity and critical systems management, has warned that after the cancellation of the so-called Privacy Shield by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which allowed the exchange of personal data between the EU and the US, it is essential to review contracts with cloud providers to ensure the protection of the information stored or managed by companies.
The so-called "Privacy Shield" is an agreement that defined the US as a "safe" country for the personal data of EU citizens and allowed to speed up international transfers between European and North American countries. Last July, this agreement was invalidated by the CJEU after the complaint of an Austrian individual, who was against the fact that the information he had on the social network Facebook was transferred from the servers of the company's division in Ireland to those that this same company has in the US.
The complaint submitted argued that, unlike EU data protection regulations, US regulations did not provide the same protection against government surveillance.
“This decision results from a situation that different EU institutions have repeatedly denounced. Due to the preponderance of North American technology giants, and the lack of a common strategy from the EU, control and governance over data has been lost. The EU is not in a position to fight against the US technological leadership in cloud and data storage. Although in order to try to comply with the GDPR, these technological giants have placed large data banks on European soil, the reality is that in the end the flow of information ends up on servers located in the US”, explained José Rosell, managing partner of S2 Grupo.
"Given this decision, we are entering a period of uncertainty that envisages three types of solutions that include a new negotiation between the EU and the US to define a new agreement to replace the Privacy Shield, adapt US regulations with controls more in line with the GDPR or changes in the controls of EU organizations (private and public) to continue to maintain transfers to the US without breaching the GDPR”, said Miguel A. Juan, managing partner of S2 Grupo.
Risks in private and public organizations, after the cancellation of the "privacy shield"
The cybersecurity company has highlighted that the main risks of this decision of the CJEU in both public and private organizations are:
- Data storage providers (located in the US or clouds where we cannot guarantee where they store the data). Normally this relationship is regulated through adhesion contracts (general clauses) on the providers' websites. Therefore, it is necessary to review these conditions and request an update from the supplier.
- Informative clauses / consent of the owners of the data. Where we previously informed but did not request consent that the data could be stored in the US, considering that it was either a processing order or an international transfer to a safe country, the new situation could mean reviewing and updating such consents.
- Processing Records. Where previously “international transfers to countries with an adequate level of protection” were recorded, this record must now be updated.
Faced with this situation and to regulate the situation after the ruling, S2 Grupo urges companies to check if their cloud providers are on the list of companies associated with the Privacy Shield and, if so, verify the conditions of the agreement to ensure that they have been properly updated. In addition, it is important to review and update the Processing Records, contracts, privacy policies and information clauses.