June 28, 2022

Volume XII, Number 179


June 27, 2022

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Transfers from a US Controller to EEA processors (Renvois) Controller (US) →Processor (Non-EEA)→Sub-processor (EEA)→Controller (US)

The following is part of Greenberg Traurig’s ongoing series analyzing cross-border data transfers in light of the new Standard Contractual Clauses approved by the European Commission in June 2021.


Transfers from a US Controller to EEA processors (Renvois) Controller (US)→ Processor (Non-EEA)→Sub-processor (EEA)→Controller (US)

Description and Implications

  • Cross border transfers from the United States don’t need a SCC. Company A is not required under U.S. law or the GDPR to put in place safeguards when it transmits (exports) data to Company Y.  Company Y is not required under U.S. law or the GDPR to put in place a safeguard when it transmits (exports) personal data to Company Z. However, in some cases the laws of Country X might require a separate safeguard for such transmissions.

  • SCC Module 4. Article 46 of the GDPR requires that a processor that transfers data outside of the EEA to a non-adequate country must utilize a safeguard.  The EDPB has confirmed that this requirement applies when an EEA processor (Company Z) sends data to a controller (Company A).1

  • Subsequent Onward Transfers from Company A do not require safeguards. If Company A sends data it received from Company Z to subsequent controllers or processors, it is not required to utilize a safeguard.

  • Transfer Impact Assessments. Section 14 of SCC Module 4 does not typically require Company Z or Company A to conduct a transfer impact assessment (TIA) of U.S. law. However, that a TIA would be required if Company Z combined the personal data it received from Company Y, with its own personal data (e.g., did a data enhancement or a data append).

  • Law enforcement request policy. Section 15 of SCC Module 4 does not typically require that Company A take specific steps in the event it receives a request from a public authority for access to personal data. However, a law enforcement policy might be warranted if Company Z combined the personal that it received from Company Y, with its own personal data (e.g., did a data enhancement or a data append).


[1] EDPB, Guidelines 05/2021 on the Interplay between the application of Article 3 and the provisions on international transfers as per Chapter V of the GDPR at para. 13.

©2022 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 68

About this Author

David A. Zetoony Privacy Attorney Greenberg Traurig

David Zetoony, Co-Chair of the firm's U.S. Data, Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice, focuses on helping businesses navigate data privacy and cyber security laws from a practical standpoint. David has helped hundreds of companies establish and maintain ongoing privacy and security programs, and he has defended corporate privacy and security practices in investigations initiated by the Federal Trade Commission, and other data privacy and security regulatory agencies around the world, as well as in class action litigation. 

David receives regular recognitions from clients and peers for...

Carsten Kociok, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Germany, Cybersecurity and Technology, Finance Litigation Attorney

Carsten Kociok focuses his practice on the technology, media and telecommunications industries. He has broad experience in the areas of Internet, information technology, electronic and mobile payments and new media, as well as regulatory and data protection law issues.

Carsten advises national and international companies from the Internet, payments and technology industries on the commercial and regulatory side of their business, in particular in the areas of e-commerce and e-business, electronic and mobile payments, service distribution,...

Andrea C. Maciejewski Data Privacy Lawyer Greenberg Traurig

Andrea C. Maciejewski advises clients on compliance with local and international data privacy regulations including the GDPR, CCPA, COPPA, CAN-SPAM , TCPA, and state biometric laws. She guides clients on data breach response and privacy policies.


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