Privacy Shield Standard Contractual Clauses

As technology advances, more and more personal data is being exchanged and stored online. The need for data protection has never been more important. With the rise of data breaches, the European Union (EU) developed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018, which holds businesses accountable for how they process and protect personal data of European citizens.

One way that companies can comply with GDPR is by securing data transfers to third-party countries using the Privacy Shield framework. However, since the Privacy Shield was invalidated in 2020, companies are looking for alternatives. This is where the Privacy Shield Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) come in.

What are Privacy Shield Standard Contractual Clauses?

The SCCs are a set of contractual clauses that companies can use to ensure that personal data is transferred securely to third-party countries outside the EU. The SCCs were adopted by the European Commission in 2001, primarily to address the concerns of data protection authorities around the world.

The SCCs provide a legal framework for companies transferring personal data from the EU to third-party countries. Companies that use the SCCs are required to comply with the GDPR, which means that they must implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure the security of the personal data they are processing.

Why are SCCs important?

SCCs provide companies with a cost-effective way to transfer data to third-party countries while complying with data protection regulations. They enable companies to meet their data protection obligations under the GDPR while continuing to do business with partners outside of the EU.

SCCs are also important because they provide a standardized set of legal provisions that companies can use when transferring personal data. This reduces the risk of companies developing their own contracts that might not comply with data protection regulations.

What are the key SCC requirements?

The SCCs set out a range of requirements that companies must comply with when transferring personal data to third-party countries. Some of the key requirements include:

– Complying with GDPR: The SCCs require companies to comply with GDPR when processing personal data. This includes implementing appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure the security of the personal data.

– Transparency: Companies must provide individuals with clear and understandable information on how their personal data will be processed and transferred to third-party countries.

– Protecting data subjects’ rights: SCCs require companies to protect the rights of data subjects, such as providing them with access to their personal data and allowing them to exercise their rights under GDPR.

– Auditing: Companies must allow audits of their data processing activities by the supervisory authority if requested.


While the Privacy Shield may no longer be a viable option for businesses, the SCCs provide a legal framework that companies can use to ensure data transfers outside of the EU comply with GDPR. Companies using SCCs must ensure that they implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure the protection of personal data. By taking these measures, companies can avoid costly fines and reputational damage for non-compliance with data protection requirements.

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