The Court of Justice of the European Union issued its Safe Harbor ruling in October 2015, effectively upending the nearly two-decades-long practice that enabled the safe cross-border transfer of personal data by international businesses. Months after the ruling, many organizations still don’t know how to proceed.

In a recent article, Chronicle of eDiscovery contributor Jonathan Fowler shared, “[T]he collapse could be ameliorated by the timely creation of a replacement standard.” Even so, he felt that the swift enactment of a new framework would be highly unlikely.

Fowler surmised that another option was for the EU to revert to standards that were in place before Safe Harbor. However, Fowler countered that “these older standards are likely not equipped to cover the complexities of modern data transfer requirements or account for the new file types that have emerged in the last 15 years.”

As a result of the vacuum created by the Court of Justice’s decision, those engaging in international legal matters have been left in a “state of limbo.” To address the confusion that some legal personnel are experiencing, Fowler recommends seeking a legal services partner with experience and presence in the EU. To find the right partner, corporations should ask the following questions:

  • What are your collection methodologies?
  • Can you demonstrate how your collection methodologies comply with local and EU rules?
  • How do you provide secure remote connectivity for data transfer?
  • How do you use available technology to manage redaction so that your team can contain the costs of eDiscovery?

Still not sure how the Safe Harbor ruling can affect your legal matters in the EU? Fill out the form below to download an infographic for further insight from the Chronicle of eDiscovery editorial team.

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