In early October, over 4,400 U.S. companies collectively held their breath in anticipation of a ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Schrems v. Irish Data Protection Commissioner (Case C-362/14) matter. This case would decide whether or not the data safe harbor agreement (DSHA) penned in 2000 and governing transfer and storage of personal data of EU citizens on U.S. servers was valid. It threatened to undo over a decade’s worth of a data privacy framework that many companies, including multinational corporations, social media outlets and cloud providers, had relied upon when facilitating Trans-Atlantic business.

In an unprecedented decision issued Oct. 6, the EU court invalidated the DSHA, sending companies into uncharted waters as they now attempt to determine what the ruling means and what port they should now dock in to find “adequate protections” for this data that would comply with EU law.

What Was the Data Safe Harbor Agreement?

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