New EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Adopted to Support Trans-Atlantic Digital Commerce

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Better Business Bureau Launches BBB EU Privacy Shield

The long-awaited EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework was formally adopted yesterday. The data pact, which will replace the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework, was announced by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourovà in Brussels. In conjunction with the announcement, the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB) launched the new BBB EU Privacy Shield program to provide compliance assistance and independent privacy dispute resolution services for U.S. companies doing business in Europe that must meet EU data privacy standards under the new Framework.

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is a self-certification program that provides enhanced privacy protections for EU consumers, while enabling thousands of companies in the United States to receive personal data from the European Union, supporting transatlantic trade and helping grow the digital economy. The U.S. Department of Commerce will begin accepting self-certifications to Privacy Shield on August 1, 2016, after companies have had an opportunity to review the Framework and update their compliance.

“With this new Framework, U.S. companies will have stronger obligations to protect consumers’ personal data,” said Mary E. Power, president and CEO of CBBB. “BBB has played a critical role in developing and supporting the EU Safe Harbor Framework since its inception and we’re pleased to support the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. We applaud the work of the Department of Commerce, the European Commission, and other U.S. and EU officials in establishing this new arrangement to promote transatlantic data flows. We look forward to building on our 16 years as an independent privacy dispute resolution provider, continuing our legacy of trust with the business community.”

BBB EU Privacy Shield replaces BBB’s EU Safe Harbor program, one of the first dispute resolution providers to support the Safe Harbor when it launched in 2000.

“Our new program will help U.S. businesses prepare for self-certification under Privacy Shield, and will provide accessible, impartial dispute resolution services for European consumers with privacy complaints,” said Frances Henderson, CBBB national director, privacy initiatives. “Privacy Shield will enhance privacy protections for EU citizens and provide greater certainty for U.S. companies doing business in Europe.”

Additional information regarding the new program is available on the BBB EU Privacy Shield website. The Department of Commerce’s fact sheet on EU-U.S. Privacy Shield requirements may be downloaded here.


U.S. businesses participating in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield are required to provide an independent dispute resolution service to EU individuals whose personal data they collect. The BBB EU Privacy Shield was created to help businesses meet this requirement and conduct business in Europe using adequate data protections. More information on the program is available at BBB EU Privacy Shield.

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national and international programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation.

For more information, journalists should contact Katherine Hutt at 703-247-9345 or khutt(at)council(dot)bbb(dot)org or Jasmine Turner at 703-247-9376 or jturner(at)council(dot)bbb(dot)org.

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Katherine Hutt
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