European Data Protection & Privacy Conference

Date: December 9th 2014 
Location: Brussels, Belgium

Nymity was a proud sponsor and speaker at the European Data Protection & Privacy conference. Gathering over 350 delegates annually, the conference will assess the progress made under both the Greek and Italian presidencies of the European Council in moving towards a final agreement on this controversial dossier.

Terry McQuay spoke on "International interoperability — balancing privacy and international data flows".

Session Description

Trade in data is a lucrative global industry, and one that continues to grow at an exponential rate. Policymakers are tasked with the job of encouraging this growth, whilst ensuring that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect citizens' data on an international scale, requiring international cooperation. The European Regulation's jurisdiction extends to all companies operating in Europe and processing European data, regardless of the company's country of origin, posing new and considerable challenges to European data protection authorities and Europe's global competitors and partners. Following the NSA revelations in 2013, in some parts of Europe there were doubts over the future of the Safe Harbour scheme, leading to closer assessment and review by the European Commission. Elsewhere in the world, data transfers between Europe and important international partners, for example India or China, are made difficult as their data protection laws are not considered adequate by the EU.

In this session, panelists will address the following questions:

  • Is a European, localised system of data transfer and data centres the right direction to be moving in?

  • How is the EU interacting with third countries through bilateral data protection programmes and what potential is there for Safe Harbour-like schemes to be rolled out to other countries or regions? Could international Codes of Conduct provide an alternative to top-down regulations?

  • Could more support be given to third countries to encourage the development of harmonised data protection standards as a way of stimulating new, mutually beneficial trade opportunities?

  • How will data protection concerns play out in the context of international trade agreements, especially following calls by the new European Commission president to include data protection rules in the TTIP negotiations?

  • In the case of demonstrable non-compliance with EU law by a non-EU company, what powers do member state data protection authorities have, in theory and in practice, to deal with this?


Terry McQuay

President & Founder 


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