During its semi-annual meeting the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Commission on the Digital Economy welcomed Chair of the Article 29 Working Party (WP29) Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin to ICC’s global headquarters to discuss timely European Union (EU) data protection developments of importance for global business including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and WP29’s recent opinion on the EU-US Privacy Shield.
Composed of EU member states’ supervisory data protection authorities and representatives from EU institutions, WP29 provides expert advice from the national level to the European Commission on data protection matters. As the formal adoption process of the GDPR – the new EU data protection regime that because of our globally connected world, will impact business activity across sectors globally – has been finalized, WP29 has an important role in helping develop guidelines, tools and procedures to facilitate consistent and effective implementation of the legal framework.
During a lively discussion, Falque-Pierrotin outlined WP29 priorities for the implementation of the GDPR and provided insights into its prospective evolution into the European Data Protection Board (EDPB). Anticipating the evolving role of data protection authorities under the GDPR, ICC applauded WP29 for creating an open dialogue with stakeholders regarding the GDPR’s implementation and welcomed the WP29 organization of consultations on their action plan to evaluate needs and expectations.
Input from business will be crucial during the implementation phase of the GDPR and ICC encourages authorities to consult with business and other stakeholders before issuing guidelines.
Noting the significant technological developments of the past decade, Vice-chair of the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy Kaisa Olkkonen of Nokia said: “Input from business will be crucial during the implementation phase of the GDPR and ICC encourages authorities to consult with business and other stakeholders before issuing guidelines”.
On the EU-US Privacy shield, the new EU and the United States agreement to keep transatlantic data flowing, Falque-Pierrotin recognized its improvement to Safe Harbour in place since 2000 and invalidated by the European Court of Justice Schrems decision, and highlighted WP29’s prevailing concerns on commercial and national security aspects. Underlining cross border data flows’ central role in enabling trade and innovation in all markets in the global interdependent economy – ICC emphasized the importance of legal certainty for companies of all sectors and sizes.
ICC encouraged WP29’s steps to enhance transparency and welcomed this element as one of the priorities identified in the WP29 2016 action plan. ICC considers open channels between industry and WP29/EDPB as most valuable to enable suitable guidance on GDPR provisions that need further interpretation and remains available to work with WP29 and respective policymakers.