Adhering to Data Privacy Laws While Handling International Data in EU

Data and privacy laws across international borders are the most challenging aspects of international business today. The handling of data is governed by a number of privacy laws. It is always imperative for a company to provide online wellness services in other countries to abide by the privacy regulations in each of these countries and register with the regulators there. While the most stringent data-protection laws are found in the European Union (EU), the Data Privacy Directive governs all personally identifiable information (PII) use. Any company that able to deal suitably with the provisions of the EU directive will be able to handle privacy laws in other jurisdictions as well.Although the provisions of the Data Privacy Directive hold across the EU, anyone collecting data in EU must also follow the laws of an individual’s country of residency. The law differs among EU member states as to how Data Protection Directive needs to be implemented in their jurisdiction. As the EU privacy laws are different, it many not be feasible to just “find the most stringent EU privacy laws and comply with them.”

EU’s Complex Relations

One of the EU’s eight “enforceable principles” for privacy protection is that data must not be transferred to countries without adequate legal protection. Understanding what constitutes to data transfer becomes necessary in such cases. EU defines access to data, as a form of transfer, for all privacy purposes. Many experts recommend leaving European data in Europe, although that is not entirely sufficient to ensure compliance with the law. To further complicate matters, there are certain international laws that may conflict with each other, particularly when it comes to keeping data. For example, European laws require companies to destroy PII as soon as its utility has expired, while in the United States, laws may dictate a different privacy rules. So if there is a U.S.-based company dealing with data from another country, there could be a conflict. Canada and Argentina are a few countries that are recognized by the European Commission as having suitable data privacy protections. Data can be transferred to or accessed from these countries that recommend similar protections to the EU directive.

Taking the help of an expert

In any international expansion, it is necessary to be aware of the existing laws as these can significantly affect your business. Therefore it makes good sense to take the help of a business partner. They have the knowledge and expertise and are abreast with not only the laws and regulations of each country, but also with the areas like HR, payroll, intercompany transferpricing, r