World of Privacy Requirements
laws impact US companies doing business abroad. Privacy
laws also impact non-US businesses doing business here.
Businesses. Privacy issues for US companies don't
stop at the water's edge -- they get much, much more complex.
Canada, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and the European
Union all have (or are implementing) consumer privacy
protections that make US law look like the directions
on a bottle of shampoo.
EU law, for example, you are sharply limited in the amount
of data you can gather, and depending on the kind of consumer
data you have, you may be required to obtain explicit
and unambiguous consent just to store that data in the
servers in your home office.
the complexities of the "Safe Harbor" agreement
between the US and Europe are still being explored. Safe
Harbor, once entered, is a port you can never sail out
of again: once you subject your data to its terms, you
can never again use the data in ways not permitted by
the EU strictures. PrivacyClue consultants are experts
in privacy laws in the EU and elsewhere. Before leaving
US shores and setting sail for Safe Harbor, let PrivacyClue
chart your course.
Businesses. Many non-US firms are used to dealing
with very strict privacy laws, many of which have never
seen strenuous enforcement. The story is very different
in the US, where our relatively small body of privacy
laws are already seeing significant enforcement activities
by the Federal Trade Commission and other government officials.
Many non-US firms have never even heard of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley
Act yet met its definition of a "financial services"
company. In negotiating the EU Safe Harbor agreement,
many US officials questioned the EU's committment to enforcement.
You can be assured that there is much political gain to
be had from prosecuting EU firms for violations of US
can help you understand the compliance requirements that
apply to you, before you find out the hard way.