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Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Opens for Self-Certifications

On April 12, 2017, the Department of Commerce will begin accepting self-certifications to the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield. The Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield was approved to be an adequate legal mechanism for compliance with Swiss requirements to transfer personal data from Switzerland to the United States after the Swiss-U.S. Safe Harbor was declared invalid following the Schrems decision on October 6, 2015. 

Following approval by the Swiss government on January 12, 2017, the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield immediately replaced the Swiss U.S. Safe Harbor. However, to give organizations the time needed to self-certify, the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner announced that it would not take enforcement action during the three-month period leading up to the first day when U.S. companies could self-certify. This three-month period was critical because unlike the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield, there is no grace period after self-certification with the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield for companies to ensure their third-party contracts are aligned.

The Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield is nearly identical to the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield, but there are important distinctions like the definition of sensitive information.

© Polsinelli PC, Polsinelli LLP in CaliforniaNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 131


About this Author

Amanda Katzenstein, Polsinelli, Media Technology Lawyer, Trademark Rights Attorney

Amanda Katzenstein uses her extensive media and technology experience to assist clients with resolving their legal challenges. She started her career in television news, serving as a reporter and producer for CLTV, Chicago’s 24-hour news network; as a reporter, editor, and photographer for both WYCC-TV and the Evanston Community Cable Channel; and working in production for a nationally syndicated TV talk show.

Additionally, Amanda’s experience includes dealing with the practical effects of trademark rights at a national advertising agency,...