One of our priorities is tracking the big issues affecting in-house counsel, and since 2015 seems to be the year of the “Top __ List,” we thought it would be fun to jump on that bandwagon too. It’s helpful to understand your legal department’s goals, challenges and priorities in the context of the greater legal profession and the business world as a whole. And isn’t it also kind of fun at this stage of the year to look back at the various twists and turns we all lived through or at least thought we might have to get through?
Although no one really knows what will happen next, we thought it might be useful to outline some strategies that companies are currently using to mitigate risk in light of the European Union’s recent decision to strike down the Safe Harbor provision allowing data transfers (user web histories and other personal information) between Europe and the United States. The ruling affects any company with international users that transfers advertising and other personal information between Europe and the United States. Google and Facebook are major examples of the type of company affected. Since it’s anyone’s guess when there might be a new safe harbor agreement between the U.S. and Europe, and the current new restrictions will go into effect in January, it is wise to look into some ways of coping with tougher oversight of data transfers.