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3 Jakobs torg
Stockholm, Stockholms län, 11152
Sweden

AmCham Sweden is the voice of American business in Sweden. We are champions of US - Swedish trade and investment and US commercial interests in Sweden and give members a networking platform, critical business information, and an amplified voice.

News

European Court of Justice’s decision in the Schrems case could disrupt transatlantic business

Peter R. Dahlen

AmCham Sweden represents U.S. companies across all sectors operating in Sweden. Regardless of industry or sector, the free flow of data is of paramount importance to conducting business in the EU and contributing to its economic growth.

Consequently, AmCham Sweden was very concerned to read the European Court of Justice’s decision in the Schrems versus the Irish Data Commissioner case.

By immediately invalidating the Safe Harbor agreement, transatlantic business could be severely disrupted unless the EU Institutions and Data Protection Authorities offer alternative mechanisms and a reasonable transition period. Otherwise, the judgment could have far-reaching repercussions for consumers, employers and employees.

“Global companies depend on communications networks to deliver services to customers, run manufacturing and internal operations, and manage global supply chains,” stated Peter R. Dahlen, Managing Director of AmCham Sweden. Dahlen added, “Companies depend on predictable rules to invest, hire, and conduct everyday business operations. Because data flows are fundamental to facilitating transatlantic trade, companies heavily invest in ensuring they comply with legal requirements.”

Safe Harbor is about honoring these requirements. This is why more than 4,000 European and U.S. companies rely on the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor agreement to comply with EU data protection rules when conducting business in the U.S. The European Court of Justice's Opinion unfortunately creates uncertainty for both companies and consumers about EU rules.

Trade is contingent upon the predictability and reliability of legal instruments. And hundreds of thousands of European jobs depend on global trade. The Opinion casts doubt on many existing and future European data transfer mechanisms with the rest of the world, not just the Safe Harbor agreement.

A recent report[1] found that a disruption of trade in services and cross-border data flows could reduce EU GDP by up to 1.3%. EU services exports to the U.S. could drop 6.7% due to a loss of competitiveness. Small or medium-sized enterprises constitute 60% of Safe Harbor participants. Safe Harbor moreover enables U.S. organizations to process human resources related-data required to employ EU citizens.

AmCham Sweden would like to encourage both the U.S. Government and the European Commission to conclude the multilateral process effectively engaged since 2013 in order to ensure a high level of data protection for both EU and U.S. citizens. Until a re-negotiated Safe Harbor is agreed, we encourage the EU Institutions and Data Protection Authorities to adopt appropriate measures to ensure a reasonable time for transition to alternative arrangements.

Dahlen concluded, “AmCham Sweden stands ready to work with all stakeholders to continue to find workable solutions to ensure the continued free flow of data.”

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

About AmCham Sweden

AmCham Sweden is the voice of American business in Sweden. It aims to promote U.S.-Swedish trade and investment and U.S. commercial interests in Sweden.

For further information, please contact Randy Gosda, Communications Director, at +46 (0) 70 568 3774 or randy.gosda@amcham.se

 

[1] European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), “The Economic Importance of Getting Data Protection Right: Protecting Privacy, Transmitting Data, Moving Commerce”, March 2013.

 

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