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North Rhine-Westphalia: LDI NRW issues short guidance on Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework

OneTrust DataGuidance confirmed with Stefan Hessel, Attorney-at-Law and Co-Head of Digital Business Unit at reuschlaw Legal Consultants, that the North Rhine-Westphalia State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information ('LDI NRW') published, on 30 March 2022, a short guidance on the agreement in principle reached by the European Commission and the US on a Trans-Atlantic Data Privacy Framework. In particular, the LDI NRW noted that the key points of the agreement in principle encompass limits on access by US intelligence services and legal protection for EU citizens in a two-tier system.

However, the LDI NRW highlighted that the agreement in principle does not equate to a new adequacy decision for personal data transfers to the US, and that the conditions established under Articles 46 or 49 of the General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) ('GDPR') must continue to be observed.

Moreover, the LDI NRW outlined that a timeframe for further action remains unknown and clarified the next steps towards a possible adequacy decision. According to the LDI NRW, these are:

  • the agreement reached in principle must be written up and accepted by both sides;
  • the US implements the principles of the agreement in its law by means of an executive order;
  • the Commission prepares a draft adequacy decision on this basis;
  • the European Data Protection Board ('EDPB') issues an opinion on the draft; and
  • the Commission adopts the adequacy decision, if appropriate.

You can read the short guidance, only available in German, here.